Safety has always been at the core of ISRI. In ISRI’s mission statement — ISRI is the Voice of the Recycling Industry™, promoting safe, economically sustainable and environmentally responsible recycling through networking, advocacy, and education — safe is the first concept ISRI promotes. But how does safety actually playout in the day-to-day lives of ISRI and ISRI members? Education and training are a big component.

Education and training are conducted by the ISRI safety team and help recyclers evaluate and improve their operations. These include a variety of in-person and virtual offerings focused on: general facility safety, creating a culture of safety, hazard recognition, transportation assessment, machine guarding, material handling and more.

“Back around 2004/2005 ISRI members saw a need for a more refined approach to safety for the recycled materials industry,” said VP of Safety Tony Smith. “Through hundreds of outreach efforts, we learned where the hazards are and developed some appropriate tools and guidance.”

The tools and trainings that came out of this approach eventually led ISRI to partner with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Through this partnership, ISRI has received grants over the past seven years to continue its safety outreach initiatives.

One of the most recent grants ISRI received from OSHA focuses on fire safety. ISRI developed a class, Hazard Recognition: Fire Safety and Prevention, to assist all recycling facilities and all commodities to better understand and deal with hazards associated with fires in recycling facilities not limited to materials recovery facilities (MRFs) and recycled materials processing environments. Attendees learn ways to potentially control these hazards and to avoid significant losses due to fires. The course is taught by ISRI Safety and a fire professional familiar with recycling facilities.

This article is the first in a series spotlighting ISRI’s focus on safety. In an upcoming article we’ll take a look at the ISRI member perspective and dive deep on what they get out of these safety trainings.

Arnulfo Moreno

Arnulfo Moreno

Arnulfo Moreno is a Communications Manager at ISRI. He is fascinated by the innovation and sustainability found in the recycling industry. He graduated from The Catholic University of America where he majored in Media Studies and minored in Spanish. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland with his collection of short stories he hopes to one day finish writing.