Broken glass, toxic dust, sharp edges and destructive shredders are some of the hazards that employees in the electronics recycling industry may be exposed to on a daily basis. If not protected, workers may risk illness from toxic metal dusts, hearing loss from noise exposure, cuts from sharp objects, or injuries from lifting or moving heavy items. Most electronics recyclers have safety programs in place to help workers avoid these hazards. These programs typically will manage training, testing, reporting, personal protective equipment (PPE), ergonomic tools, lifting devices, dust filters and hearing devices.
When it comes to the safety of employees Sims Recycling Solutions is committed to going above and beyond what’s required. At a minimum, Sims complies with all applicable safety, health, environmental and community laws, regulations and standards in all jurisdictions where facilities are located. In addition to this, Sims has implemented SimsMMway Safety, a global companywide program to maintain the leadership and management of safety standards and communications.
The company stands behind the concept that through training and leadership, supported by strong risk-based management systems and safe operating assets and infrastructure, employee behavior can be shaped to recognize risks and prevent harm. It is with this thought that a new safety initiative was introduced designed to recognize employees that represented the “best of the best” in terms of their commitment to a safe workplace.
All entries for this award were handled by surveying peers – not managers – and more than 300 nominations were received worldwide. Those who were submitted for this acknowledgement were recognized for their felt leadership and commitment to the SimsMMway safety initiatives.
Of the 300 entries, 13 were selected as finalists for this award. All finalists received a letter from the Group Chief Executive Officer along with a branded belt buckle.
“I am always appreciative of the safety efforts that are made by individuals in the workplace,” stated Bill Vasquez, general manager, west region, Sims Recycling Solutions. “I was pleased to be joined by Steve Skurnac [president of Sims Recycling Solutions] and Andrew Mason [vice president of operations] to deliver an award in person to David Fortenberry, an operator at our site in Hayward, Calif. to personally show my gratitude for his dedication to safety measures.”
Vasquez continues, “Striving to achieve a zero-harm workplace would not be possible without the commitment from each and every employee. It’s great to know anyone entering a Sims facility, whether an employee, contractor, or visitor should feel confident we will do everything we can to protect them from the potential hazards in and around the complex process of recycling electronics.”
As a company, great pride is taken in the SimsMMway safety program and the mission to keep everyone safe truly brings everyone together creating an enjoyable workplace that is both safe for the employees and the environment. For more information about the safety standards that apply to Sims Recycling Solutions sites, please visit here.
Finalists included employees from all of Sims’ divisions and are listed below:
- Atahualpa Delorbe – Assistant Manager: Bronx, NY, US
- Bartlett Forster – Site Supervisor: Hartlepool, UK
- Batin Muhammad – Laborer: Chesapeake, VA, US
- Blanca Quinonez – Laborer: Jersey City, NJ, US
- David Fortenberry – Operator: Hayward, CA, US
- David Lee – Site Shredder Manager: Newport, UK
- Jose Quijas – Laborer: Rancho Cordova, CA, US
- Joshua Ford – Operator: Villawood, AU
- Matthew Xenos – Engineer: Rocklea, QLD, AU
- Nick Cardona – Facility Manager: Fields Point, RI, US
- Patrick McKay – Machine Operator (Grade 3): Bell Bay, Tasmania, AU
- Stuart Harris – Operator: Newport, UK