Safety is Good Business
Our commitment to health and safety helps us maintain consistent productivity and quality work that supports our reputation as a renewable energy leader in the Energy-from-Waste (EfW) sector. We maintain a comprehensive health and safety program at all facilities and operations. Our dedication to safety has resulted in a reduction in accident and incident rates, as well as fostering a work ethic that promotes the health and safety of every employee, contractor, visitor, customer and the communities we serve. We also reward our employees for engaging in proactive behavior that helps us to improve safety performance.
Employees Helping Employees to Stay Safe
Our internal safety awareness initiatives combine targeted communications with specialized training to facilitate a greater commitment to safety in the workplace. We provide specialized training for new hires, and offer ongoing training for all employees (both field and corporate). Field employees receive at least 24 hours of training per year.
We also use peer mentoring and positive self-coaching as key elements in our safety programs. For example, when there is a near-miss injury, rather than taking punitive action, we focus on examining the behavior behind the event. Everyone benefits from a constructive analysis of the near miss, leading to greater awareness not only for the affected employee, but for the whole team.
Our Green Hard Hat program requires new employees to, literally, wear green hard hats so that they are easily identifiable to fellow employees who can provide guidance as to safe behaviors and protocols. All employees are empowered to take ownership of their own personal safety, as well as that of their peers.
Safety Excellence Programs and External Recognition
The majority of our domestic facilities participate in the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Under VPP, management, labor and OSHA work together, establishing cooperative relationships at workplaces to implement comprehensive safety and health management systems.
Acceptance into VPP is OSHA’s official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees to achieve exemplary occupational safety and health policies, procedures and practices.
We are also very proud to be among the top 10 companies in the United States to enter the majority of our operating locations into the OSHA VPP STAR program. Covanta has led over 40 of our locations into the VPP STAR ranks of excellence.
Thirty-nine of our facilities and/or groups were awarded the Occupational Excellence Achievement Award in 2014 by the National Safety Council (NSC), an organization devoted to the promotion of safety in U.S. industry for more than 100 years. This award recognizes companies/facilities with lost-time injury rates equal to or less than half the rate of other companies within the same industry. We continue to underscore safety awareness and training as a key company priority.
Emergency PreparednessEmergency preparedness is a natural extension of our health and safety program and we have an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for each community in which we operate. EAPs are written to comply with OSHA regulations and additional local regulatory requirements. Facility personnel are required to complete an exam testing their understanding and awareness of EAP provisions upon the start of their employment and must partake in our annual certification process.