Blog Post #1426 – Initiative to Reduce Numbers in New Brunswick

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine (Sept. 2015)

New Brunswick’s workers’ compensation authority has launched an initiative to improve worker safety in the waste-collection industry.

Safe Waste Collection (SWC), a two-year initiative promoting safety culture in the sector, will focus on education, compliance activities, public awareness of safety issues and recommendations for mandatory safety policies in the industry, WorkSafeNB announced on September 01, 2015. WorkSafeNB representatives began consulting with employers in the industry to discuss health and safety procedures and practices.

“As we have done with other high-risk industries, WorkSafeNB is focusing its efforts to help workers in waste collection,” WorkSafeNB president and chief executive officer Gerard Adams says in a statement, noting that waste collectors face risks daily. “We are working with employers and workers to ensure they have the resources and support needed to reduce these risks.”

Backgrounder information from WorkSafeNB notes that the province has seen four fatalities in the waste-collection sector since 2003. Waste-collection employees in the province are three times as likely as workers in any other sector to become injured on the job.

The initiative is a result of consultations between WorkSafeNB and numerous stakeholders, whose feedback helped to form the program’s strategies.

Another key aspect of the SWC program will be increased training and orientation for waste-collection workers. In the spring of 2016, WorkSafeNB plans to start inspecting industry employers’ facilities and mobile equipment, as well as launching a public-awareness campaign aimed at homeowners to illustrate how they can help provide a safer job environment for these workers. These measures include keeping trash bags free from sharp objects and within recommended weight limits and removing tripping dangers from curbsides or the ends of driveways. “Your curbside is their workplace,” Adams says.

WorkSafeNB also intends to lobby for those who award work contracts in the sector to base their choices partially on safety policies and procedures.

“Like the construction industry,” Adams says, “we want safety to be a priority in the bidding process.”

My opinion

As a reader, think of all the possible hazards a waste collector may have to deal with. Dogs, parked cars, overweight bags, sharp objects sticking out, ripped and torn bags, garbage placed in the wrong place, and so on.

As a homeowner, I believe we need to be educated in the possible hazards and work to eliminate or control them. I know I have, many, many times, sorted a heavy bag and made two bags so as not to stress or strain our waste collector. It takes very little time to sort out the hazards now that we may know what they are.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – In Canada, “All accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level

CEO and Training Director



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