Join ISRI’s Safety Team for Our New Fire Safety and Prevention Course

This week’s Industry Voices was written by Tony Smith, ISRI’s VP of Safety.

ISRI’s safety team is launching a new education and training course called Hazard Recognition: Fire Safety and Prevention. The two-day online class was developed to help employees, team leads, supervisors, plant managers, and senior leadership understand hazards associated with fires in recycling and materials recovery facilities (MRF). The course will be co-taught by a member of ISRI’s safety team, alongside a fire professional familiar with recycling facilities. The first class will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 15, and Thursday, Sept. 16. A total of nine classes will be offered from September to December. Registration is open for the class taking place this week, as well as the next class, which will take place Thursday, Sept. 30, and Friday, Oct. 1.

The course will review the different types and stages of fire, and will help attendees gain a greater awareness of workplace fire hazards such as ignition sources and fuel sources. It will provide an overview of fire prevention techniques specific to recycling and MRF facilities, and go over fire management techniques and emergency response to these events. Instructors will also talk through some real-world scenarios with attendees.

ISRI has been studying the issue of fires in the recycling environment for several years. In 2019, we published the Guide to Creating a Fire Prevention and Management Plan to help recyclers understand fire prevention, incipient firefighting, and crisis management. This guide has been well received by recyclers and is available for free. To request a copy, email ISRI’s safety team at

In 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) awarded ISRI a $160,000 grant to develop and deliver fire safety education and training to recyclers and MRFs. During the development process, fire science professionals conducted an analysis of fire issues in the industry. They helped ISRI understand the many ways that fires are igniting and how to keep these fires from becoming large catastrophic events. This analysis was instrumental in creating and designing this new course, and we look forward to delivering it to the industry for the foreseeable future.

All levels of recycling company employees are encouraged to attend this course, which is free to members and nonmembers. We currently have nine of these virtual courses scheduled to take place through December 2021. The courses will take place on the following dates: Sept. 15-16; Sept. 30-Oct. 1; Oct. 14-15; Oct. 27-28; Nov. 4-5; Nov. 18-19; Dec. 1-2; Dec. 16-17; and Dec. 22-23.

We also plan to offer this course in-person in areas of the country that request them. For more information on bringing this course to your area, please contact me at 202-662-8529 or We hope to see you online or in person soon.

This material was produced under grant number SH-99014-SH0 from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. It does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Labor, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.