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Waste Management's leaders create an environment where safety is the number one priority for all of our employees, from day one.

As part of employee orientation, instructions and videos are given about Waste Management's many safety programs, and employees are regularly trained on and reminded about important safety techniques.

The company funds, develops and implements ongoing safety and health policies, programs, procedures and processes for all of its sites in North America. The company's leaders serve as examples of good safety practices and also coach and mentor employees as to how to work safely, providing praise for a job well done, and intervening when improvement is needed. In most, if not all operating districts, Waste Management is the safety leader, setting the trend for safety practices in the industry.

Locally and company-wide, we are on a "Mission to Zero" or M2Z, a company program which mandates zero tolerance for unsafe actions, unsafe decisions, unsafe conditions, unsafe equipment and unsafe attitudes. All of our employees follow the Safety Vision Statement:

  • Safety is the first of our key components of successful performance.
  • Each employee is responsible for safe behavior.
  • Each employee is personally accountable for:
    • Promoting a safe environment.
    • Maintaining a zero tolerance for unsafe actions and decisions.
    • Directly participating in all aspects of safety programs.
  • Managers at all levels will set the standard in our industry.

Employees are held accountable for promoting a safe work environment, maintaining zero tolerance for unsafe actions and participating in the company's safety programs.

In the local region, several of our facilities have been recognized with safety awards, including the Golden Gate Award from Cal/OSHA and SHARP status from OSHA. Waste Management of San Diego in El Cajon received the Golden Gate award from Cal/OSHA in March 2007. Coast Waste Management, our hauling operation in Carlsbad, is participating in the evaluation program for the Cal/OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), voluntarily inviting OSHA in to inspect and certify its facility. Along with Waste Management of North County in Oceanside, the two facilities recognize their Top Gun Safety Squadron for their safety achievements at work.

You can help us be safe, too. Keep in mind the following:

  • Every Waste Management truck is equipped with a back-up alarm. Whether you are walking or driving near one of our trucks, if you hear this sound (a loud beeping) or see the white back-up lights, be sure to move out of the way of the truck.
  • Never cut in front of or stop suddenly in front of a Waste Management truck. Extend the same courtesies as you would to other drivers and keep a proper cushion of space between you and the truck.
  • Keep your children and pets at a safe distance from the truck. Our drivers love to see happy neighbors during their routes, but prefer that you stay on the front porch or in the yard - do not get near or climb on the truck whether it is parked or at work.
  • Also, do not follow the truck on your bike, skates or skateboard or in your car - they make frequent stops and often back up. Never hang on to the back of a truck while doing these activities!
  • While many of our trucks, particularly those that service neighborhoods, are equipped with cameras to see what is behind the truck, do not rely on this for the driver to be able to see you or any of your possessions (cars, toys, etc.). It is always safest to stay away from the truck and all of its moving parts.
  • On your collection day, be sure to move toys or cars out of the path of the truck.
  • Never play or stand in or around trash bins or cans, since you don't know when the truck will come to empty them.