Solid waste district receives grant for OSHA training for transfer station attendants

  • Residents use the Northfield Transfer Station in April 2020. Transfer station attendants will receive OSHA training this month, thanks to a $22,500 grant the Franklin County Solid Waste Management District received from the state Department of Industrial Accidents. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Report
Published: 6/6/2021 4:47:32 PM

GREENFIELD — The Franklin County Solid Waste Management District has received a $22,500 grant from the state Department of Industrial Accidents to conduct Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) trainings for transfer station attendants. The funding will pay for the district to hire a local environmental health and safety consultant, Lynn Rose, to conduct six trainings this month.

New legislation that requires all municipalities to comply with OSHA regulations became effective in February 2018, according to a Franklin County Solid Waste Management District press release. While most towns have addressed the highway departments and schools, the district’s Executive Director Jan Ameen said it has been challenging to compile the information required for transfer stations because of their unique work environment.

“I started working on this project in the summer of 2018,” Ameen said in the release. “Right away, I found that neither the state nor other organizations had put together an OSHA checklist or training for transfer stations. Transfer stations are not in the awareness of officials because large cities often have curbside collection programs that hire private haulers. I drafted a transfer station-specific inspection checklist but realized that it was just the smallest piece of the iceberg. I’ve worked on pulling information together since 2018, but things didn’t click until I received funding to hire Lynn Rose.”

The district initially received funding from the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) in the fall of 2019 to hire Rose to begin research and compile the OSHA requirements for transfer stations. According to the release, FRCOG also funded outreach to towns and a webinar for town administrators on the scope of OSHA requirements for transfer stations.

“I am so grateful for the large grant we received from the state because this is an enormous project. The ultimate goal is to ensure that every transfer station attendant understands the potential hazards of their work so that these hard-working individuals stay safe and healthy,” Ameen said. “It’s also great to have the training guide completed and the trainings scheduled for June. This years-long effort will result in a template for transfer stations across the commonwealth and beyond, as OSHA is a federal standard.”


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