Entries for the 2021 Transportation Safety Awards and the Circle of Safety Excellence™ (COSE) Occupational Awards are now open, ISRI announced on Feb. 18.

The Transportation Awards recognize those in the transportation field with a superior record of safety. The COSE Occupational Awards recognize COSE member companies that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to their employees’ safety by instilling core safety values and exhibiting continuous improvement in safety programs and worker-incident reduction.

Several accolades make up ISRI’s Transportation Awards: the Best Fleet Award, the Pacesetter Award, the Driver of the Year Award, and the ISRI Golden Wrench Award. Based on class size, the Best Fleet Award is presented to the ISRI member with the lowest vehicle crash rate, and the lowest Department of Transportation Crash Recordable rate for the previous calendar year. The Pacesetter Award is granted in the same criteria and also based on class, but covers a three-year period.

In 2019, employees of Sadoff Iron & Metal in Fond Du Lac, Wis., received the Driver of the Year Award and the ISRI Golden Wrench Award. Mike O’Connor, who drove for Sadoff since 1977, received Driver of the Year for completing 41 verifiable years of safe driving. O’Conner has more than four decades of strong, safe driving experience, noted Commodor Hall, ISRI’s senior director of safety. Aaron Radl, the second shift supervisor in Sadoff’s truck maintenance shop in Fond Du Lac, received the Golden Wrench Award for exhibiting outstanding efforts, achievements, and contributions during a career in vehicle maintenance. “[Radl’s] commitment to ensuring the fleet is maintained and in safe driving condition serves as an example to others,” says Hall.

Introduced in 2018, the COSE awards highlight members and “recognize those companies that exemplify [safety] and set the standard for safety in the recycling industry,” says Hall. The COSE initiative helps improve worker, vehicle, and facility safety within the recycling industry. Its members consist of like-minded companies that voluntarily come together to share best practices and safety data to better their safety operations and be recognized by ISRI for their commitment to safety.

The three COSE awards are the Best-in-Class Award, the Superior Achievement Award, and the Rising Star Award. The Best-in-Class Award is granted to the COSE member companies or facilities with the lowest Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR), for the previous calendar year. The Superior Achievement Award is awarded to the COSE member companies or facilities that achieved an OSHA TRIR of .75 or less for the previous calendar year, and the Rising Star Award is given to the COSE member facilities that achieved an OSHA TRIR of 2.65 or less for the previous calendar year.

Some of the previous COSE award recipients and members, including United Scrap Metal and Southern Metals Recycling, recently shared their respective company’s safety practices with ISRI. For United Scrap Metal, safety starts at the top, says Adam Wilk, the company’s national compliance manager. The recycling company, which is headquartered in Cicero, Ill., also encourages its managers to attend safety seminars or OSHA classes. Southern Metals Recycling, based in Wilmington, N.C., also puts safety at the forefront. The company has “implemented ISRI training for new employees,” and “incorporated safety reporting into weekly managers meetings,” says Travis Cowart, the company’s safety & environmental compliance manager.

It’s important to recognize good driving habits and driver safety because these issues directly impact the company’s drivers and the public. “Those that demonstrate safety as a core value above and beyond others in how they drive, train staff, and maintain vehicles should be recognized for their efforts,” says Hall. 

Entry forms and additional information for both awards can be found on ISRI’s website. All entries are due by March 31, 2021. The awards will be presented during ISRI2021, held virtually April 20-22 and 27-29. Those interested in joining COSE can learn more and apply online here.

Image caption: Commodor Hall (far right), ISRI’s senior director of safety, presents Felipe Guerra, Phillip Sacco, and John Sacco (from left to right) of Sierra Recycling with their COSE Award. The Saccos are the owners of Sierra Recycling, and Guerra is the company’s safety director.

Hannah Zuckerman

Hannah Zuckerman

Hannah is a Writer & Editor for ISRI's Scrap News. She's interested in a wide range of topics in the recycling industry and is always eager to learn more. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in History and a minored in Creative Writing. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband.