WTE Health & Safety

Waste-to-Energy:  Employee's Health and Safety Comes First

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) sets standards for America’s workers to ensure employees are safe and their health is protected. Waste-to-energy facilities, like all other workplaces, must meet these tough standards. The industry takes tremendous pride in its health and safety programs and goes beyond what is required by law. Great importance is placed on developing and implementing successful programs that protect the people working in our plants.

OSHA has recognized the stellar accomplishments of more than 45 waste-to-energy plants through VPP and SHARP designations. VPP stands for Voluntary Protection Programs and SHARP stands for Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program. Both programs are designed to recognize and promote effective safety and health management. Facilities must undergo a rigorous process that assures only the best programs qualify. VPP participants are a select group of facilities that have designed and implemented outstanding health and safety programs that go well beyond OSHA standards. SHARP is a similar program for smaller facilities. Of the more than seven million American workplaces, fewer than 2,000 sites have been awarded VPP status.

“ERC and OSHA renewed their Alliance Agreement with a signing ceremony on November 27, 2007. Signing the Alliance renewal was, from L-R, Steve Passage, President, Veolia ES Waste-to-Energy, Inc.; Seth Myones, President, Covanta Americas; OSHA's Assistant Secretary Edwin G. Foulke; Mark Weidman, President, Wheelabrator Technologies Inc., and Ted Michaels, President, ERC.”


Please click here for the list of waste-to-energy’s facilities that have achieved special recognition.

In addition to the site-specific achievements of the industry, the Energy Recovery Council joined the OSHA Alliance Program on October 13, 2005. This cooperative program enables organizations committed to safety and health to work with OSHA to further prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the workplace. OSHA and Alliance Program participants work together to reach out to, educate, and lead the nation’s employers and their employees in advancing workplace safety and health. Through the ERC-OSHA Alliance, ERChas instituted a Hauler Safety Campaign that focuses on the health and safety of waste haulers that deliver waste to waste-to-energy plants.

For more information on the ERC-OSHA Alliance, please click here.



Through its alliance with OSHA, IWSA supports North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week, which will take place May 3-9, 2009.  Please click the logo to learn more.







OSHA's SHARP Program: An Alternative to VPP for Small Employers (a presentation made by Rob Gilchrist of Energy Answers Corp. at NAWTEC 14)


The Alliance Program:  A Cooperative and Collaborative Approach to Workplace Health and Safety (a presentation made by IWSA members and OSHA at the Voluntary Protection Program Participants Association Annual Meeting in August 2006)



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