Continuously Improving Safety

We are continually reevaluating our safety programs across our operations and making improvements to our facilities and equipment. We conduct internal “snap shot” audits, safety observations and other reviews to monitor our programs and identify areas for improvement. To improve our safety programs and culture, we engage third parties to conduct independent assessments that help us identify areas opportunities for improvement. We also develop comprehensive, actionable Safety Improvement Plans (SIPs) for facilities that need additional support in advancing safety performance or building a stronger safety culture. Each month, facilities’ managers update senior management on their progress concerning action items outlined in their SIPs. When facilities improve their safety performance, they can leave the SIP program by mentoring another facility.

In our tipping areas, we are evaluating our procedures for continuous safety improvement. Nearly all of our facilities are now equipped with either radar or radio-frequency identification (RFID) systems, which use electromagnetic fields and clip-on transmitters to identify and track personnel to bolster tipping floor safety. For example, the RFID system may alert heavy equipment operators to pedestrians in the area. In addition, we seek to minimize foot traffic in these areas, manage and route truck traffic and encourage improved hauler safety practices.

Leveraging Data to Improve Performance

ProcessMAP, a comprehensive workplace safety and health software solution, has enabled us to streamline and centralize our previously distinct databases that house data related to incident management, behavior-based safety, industrial hygiene management and safety auditing. The consolidated system provides real-time reporting and efficient data tracking, allowing us to better manage associated risks and improve overall safety performance.

ProcessMAP is used by employees at Covanta sites to:

  • Conduct routine safety inspections, such as monthly fire extinguisher checks.
  • Report near misses and potential hazards.
  • Conduct focused behavioral safety observations on lockout/tagout jobs, line-of-fire tasks, etc.
  • Track action items.
  • Monitor workplace air and noise results.

Evaluating Our Safety Culture

We conduct periodic perception surveys to monitor employee opinions on the status of our efforts. By reviewing these results, we help ensure that our programs and efforts improve our work environments.

In addition to monitoring traditional safety measures such as injury statistics, we are developing leading indicators that give us a better real-time understanding of our safety efforts. We focus on measuring the three P’s: Participation, Performance and Potential Opportunities for Improvement.

We expect all employees to be active participants in our safety culture, to perform well against safety metrics and to help identify and address potential concerns. Because our focus is on ensuring quality observations and not merely “checking a box,” we believe the third “P”—identifying potential opportunities for improvement—is perhaps the most important of these measures.

Contractor Safety and Health

It is every bit as important to ensure the safety and health of our contractors as it is Covanta employees. Our six-factor contractor safety program focuses on qualification, safety and health performance assessment, outreach, communication, mentoring and training.

To identify safety-conscious contractors and manage our own risk, Covanta’s procurement and strategic sourcing departments prequalify all contractors and monitor the contracting process. Next, we rely on a third-party system, ISNetworld (ISN), to fully qualify contractors and to standardize the process across 10 geographic regions. This system ensures that Covanta works only with contractors designated as having safety metrics below the industry-specific index or benchmark. We also leverage the ISN platform to communicate policies and expectations to contractors, retrieve safety statistics, and monitor safety, insurance and training requirements.