Fatal injuries among solid waste and recycling workers “declined substantially” last year compared with 2008, according to the National Solid Wastes Management Association.
The trade group, citing recently released statistics from the Department of Labor, said the fatality rate for solid waste collection workers—including both refuse and recyclable material collectors—totaled 19 in 2009, a decrease of 39 percent from the 31 fatalities registered in 2008.
Total fatalities for all waste management and remediation service employees—including collection, landfill workers and other jobs—fell from 74 to 43 from 2008 to 2009, the NSWMA said. That’s a 42 percent decrease.
“We are very pleased that the solid waste industry reduced the number of workplace fatalities in 2009. According to NSWMA data, the leading cause of waste collection worker fatality is being struck by another vehicle, and we will continue to work with members, regulators and others to educate the public about this hazard,” said association safety director David Biderman.