Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA


The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA), and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) recognize the value of establishing a collaborative relationship to foster safety and health practices and programs to improve American workplaces. To that end, OSHA, NWRA, and SWANA hereby form an Alliance to provide NWRA and SWANA members and the public with information, guidance, and access to resources that will help them protect the health and safety of workers in the solid waste industry, and understand the rights of workers and the responsibilities of employers under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The Alliance will address transportation hazards such as backovers and distracted driving; slips, trips, and falls; needlestick injuries; heat and cold stress; musculoskeletal injuries; and other topics, as appropriate, with particular emphasis on outreach to small- and medium-sized employers.

This agreement provides a framework and objectives for the Alliance’s activities. Alliance participants will summarize specific activities and timeframes for completion in a written work plan.

Through the Alliance, the organizations will use available workplace fatality, injury, illness, and hazard exposure data, when appropriate, to help identify areas of emphasis for Alliance awareness, outreach, and communication activities. The Alliance will also explore and implement selected options, including but not limited to member surveys, to evaluate the Alliance and measure the impact on improving workplace safety and health. In developing this Alliance, OSHA, NWRA, and SWANA recognize that OSHA’s State Plan and On-Site Consultation Program partners are an integral part of the OSHA national effort to ensure that employers provide safe and healthy workplaces, and that information about the products and activities of the Alliance may be shared with these partners for the advancement of common goals.

Raising Awareness: Outreach and Communication

The participants intend to work together to achieve the following objectives:

  • Share information on OSHA’s National Initiatives (Emphasis Programs, Regulatory Agenda, Outreach), and opportunities to participate in initiatives and the rulemaking process.
  • Share information on occupational safety and health laws and standards, including the rights and responsibilities of workers and employers.
  • Develop information on the recognition and prevention of transportation hazards such as backovers and distracted driving; slips, trips, and falls; needlestick injuries; heat and cold stress; musculoskeletal injuries; and other solid waste industry hazards, and the value of safety and health programs in improving safety performance. Communicate such information (e.g., via the Safety Monday e-newsletter, the OSHA, NWRA, and SWANA websites, and other mechanisms, as appropriate) to employers and workers in the solid waste industry.
  • Speak, exhibit, or appear at OSHA, NWRA, and SWANA conferences, local meetings, or other events, such as WasteExpo, WASTECON, and SWANApalooza.
  • Convene or participate in forums, roundtable discussions, or stakeholder meetings on solid waste industry hazards to help forge innovative solutions in the workplace or to provide input on safety and health issues.
  • Collaborate with other Alliance Program participants to address workplace safety and health issues, such as needlestick hazards in waste and recycling collection and processing.
  • Encourage NWRA and SWANA members and other industry stakeholders to build relationships with OSHA's Regional and Area Offices; participate in OSHA's Cooperative Programs, such as the Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program and the Voluntary Protection Program; and utilize OSHA's On-Site Consultation Program to improve health and safety in solid waste workplaces.

OSHA's Alliance Program provides organizations an opportunity to participate in a voluntary cooperative relationship with OSHA and has proven to be a valuable tool for both OSHA and Alliance Program participants. By entering into an Alliance with an organization, OSHA is not endorsing or promoting, nor does it intend to endorse or promote, any of that organization's products or services.

An implementation team made up of representatives of each organization will meet one to two times per year to discuss the responsibilities of the participants, to share information on activities, and to track results in achieving the goals of the Alliance. OSHA team members will include representatives of the Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs, the Directorate of Enforcement Programs, and any other appropriate offices. OSHA will encourage State Plans’ and OSHA On-Site Consultation programs’ participation on the team.

This agreement will remain in effect for two years. Any signatory may terminate it for any reason at any time, provided they give 30 days’ written notice. This agreement may be modified at any time with the written concurrence of all signatories.

Signed this 27th day of September, 2019.

Loren Sweatt
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for
Occupational Safety and Health


David Biderman
Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director
Solid Waste Association of North America

Darrell K. Smith
President and Chief Executive Officer
National Waste and Recycling Association

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