SWANA Works to Advance Safety Awareness in Light of Fed Report on Injury and Illness
BLS data shows significant increase in injuries for waste industry workers
Silver Spring, MD – Continuing its mission to advance safety awareness within the solid waste and recycling industry, The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) speaks to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report on incidence rates of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses released today.
The news for the waste and recycling industry isn’t good. For solid waste collection employees (562111), the injury and illness rate increased by about 10% to 7.1 per 100 full time employees (FTE’s). This rate is the highest for this category since 2008. Similarly, the injury/illness rate for MRF employees (56292) is 8.4 per 100 FTEs, continuing a significant rise from several years ago (2011 data is here) The injury/illness rate for landfill employees declined from 5.3 to 4.9, continuing a steady decrease in numbers at landfills for nearly a decade.
“The increase in the injury rate for collection employees to levels not seen since 2008 is alarming, and the high injury rate for employees at recycling facilities also remains a concern,” offered SWANA’s CEO, David Biderman. “Too many workers are getting hurt, in spite of increased attention being paid to safety by some employers and the ongoing introduction of new safety-related equipment and programs.”
Biderman goes on to state that, “SWANA will continue to expand the safety resources it makes available to the industry to help reduce injuries and get the waste collection industry off the federal government’s list of 10 most dangerous jobs. Nothing we do is more important.”
In addition to advancing awareness of this life and death issue, SWANA provides safety webinars and classroom-based learning, including its popular sessions at WASTECON, in 2016. According to the Advocacy & eLearning Program Manager for SWANA, Jesse Maxwell, “an excellent example of SWANA’s education is its safety-focused webinar held this month on how to reduce accidents and injuries at landfills, transfer stations and recycling facilities. Resources like this and are readily available for SWANA members to access online.”
For more information on SWANA and its Safety Matters program, please visit www.SWANA.org.
The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is an organization of more than 8,300 public and private sector professionals committed to advancing from solid waste management to resource management through their shared emphasis on education, advocacy and research. For more than 50 years, SWANA has been the leading association in the solid waste management field. SWANA serves industry professionals through technical conferences, certifications, publications and a large offering of technical training courses. For more information, visit www.SWANA.org.