Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) today released the 2018 National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries showing refuse and recyclable material collection remains the fifth deadliest job in the United States. By industry category, solid waste collection workers (NAICS 562111) suffered 57 on-the-job fatalities, compared to 32 the year before. This represents a 78 percent increase in deaths in just one year.
This demonstrates the clear urgency of scheduling Hauler Safety Outreach events in 2020.
Solid waste landfills (NAICS 562212) saw a reduction in fatalities, with 3 in 2018 compared to 6 in 2017. There were also 3 worker fatalities at material recovery facilities (MRFs) in 2018, a decrease from 4 in 2017.
In November, we shared the 2018 employer-reported injury and illness data. This showed an increase in the solid waste collection employee incident rate and reductions for employees at solid waste landfills and MRFs.
As we head into the new year, let’s remember that the simple, everyday events in our day can lead to serious injury or fatality. Take a few minutes to evaluate your workplace, we can all help to bring these numbers down in 2020. The need for more action is clear, and the first step we can all take is to sign the Safety Pledge. Anyone can do it, not just SWANA members. So far more than 3,000 people from across North America and the world have signed. Everyone receiving this message should stop and take the time to sign this pledge TODAY.
Looking for more ways to build your safety resume? SWANA has added valuable safety sessions to the program schedule at SWANApalooza on March 23-25 in Atlanta.
SWANA will continue to review the 2018 BLS fatality report and provide further updates as they learn more. In early 2020, a review of SWANA’s 2019 fatality tracking will be released. A Safety Alert will be sent out at that time.
Happy New Year!