The following Safety Alert was released by SWANA on November 4, 2021. It is being shared with you as safety is a top priority in our industry. 


The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released their 2020 Federal Injury and Illness Rates survey. This survey estimates the counts of private industry employer related non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses. Solid waste landfill employees saw a decrease in injuries and illnesses in 2020, going down to 3.4 incidents per 100 full time employees, the lowest rate since 2006. MRF incident rates increased from 3.6 to 5.1 in 2020, while solid waste collection continued a three-year decline to 5.2 from 5.8.

This 2020 report is the first year to include Covid related illnesses. Solid waste collection workers had an illness rate of 22.0 per 100 full-time workers compared to 7.0 in 2019 and 17.0 in 2018. The rate was higher in 2016 at 23.4. The incident rate for respiratory illness specifically, which includes COVID-19, went up significantly to 14.5 in 2020 compared to 1.0 the year before.

Across all industries, there was a 5.7% decline in injury and illness related cases. This decline was due to a decrease in injury related cases, as illness related cases quadrupled.

The full SWANA Safety Alert contains detailed information and graphics.


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