courtesy of GFL Environmental Services USA
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Dsc01570 Services Enviro Rgb
Dsc01570 Services Enviro Rgb
Dsc01570 Services Enviro Rgb
Dsc01570 Services Enviro Rgb

America's Safest Companies 2022: GFL Environmental Services USA Inc.

Oct. 4, 2022
GFL’s 'safe for life' mission extends beyond its employees and customers to include everyone in the communities it serves.

Editor's Note: There will be an awards ceremony for the 2022 class of America's Safest Companies at the Safety Leadership Conference in Cleveland on Oct. 18-20, where current and past winners will be sharing their blueprints for success. You can learn more about the conference and sign up to register at

GFL Environmental Services USA Inc.

Industrial and Oil Recycling

Mokena, IL

428 employees | 33 sites | 8 EHS professionals

An unwavering dedication to EHS standards and principles is a common trait for safety professionals no matter what company or industry they work for, but GFL Environmental Services takes it one step further as the “GFL” in its corporate name stands for “green for life.” And with a company motto of “safe for life,” it’s pretty clear that GFL has made environmental health and safety the focus of its corporate mission.

As a waste management company specializing in recycling and environmental solutions, GFL’s employees are often in very close proximity to chemicals, liquid waste and other organic materials, so it’s essential that its safety program protects not just every GFL worker but every subcontractor, visitor and member of the public as well. To that end, the company has developed and implemented a centrally coordinated environmental management system (EMS) that is based upon the principles of the Environmental Protection Agency’s compliance-focused EMS model, explains Brian Hillier, director, EH&S Liquids, North America.“Our EMS is executed at the business line, facility and regional levels through well-defined roles, responsibilities and accountabilities,” he states.
The company also has a comprehensive environmental risk management policy “to ensure that risks are identified and managed, mitigated or eliminated with consideration for the known or potential consequences those risks pose,” Hillier adds. “All GFL employees are required to review and understand this policy and are also trained on environmental laws, regulations and requirements to the extent that they understand the environmental risks associated with their job and how to avoid those risks.” In addition, all GFL employees are also trained on EHS incident reporting, and are expected to report all incidents and near misses as soon as they happen.

Supervisors at the company are trained in incident investigation, root cause analysis and corrective action development, he notes. The company uses a continuous improvement system based on OHSAS 18001 and ISO 9001 and 14001 standards. “Results are analyzed by looking for trends with respect to previous performance and effectiveness,” Hillier says. “This creates safety programming to ultimately help prevent safety issues before they occur.”

GFL has “zero tolerance” for conduct that puts its employees, its customers and the people in the communities it serves at risk. In fact, part of the company’s mission is to give back to the communities through various programs, such as the recently launched Full Circle Project. “The FCP is a community-driven program that lets our customers decide how a portion of our donations are directed,” Hillier explains. “By putting our customers in control, FCP is a unique way to ensure our charitable giving positively impacts the local communities where we live and work, and that we support the causes that matter most to them.” 

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