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Waste & Recycling January 09, 2017 12:30:27 AM

SWANA Responds to BLS Industry Fatality Data

Waste Advantage
ScrapMonster Contributor
Refuse and recyclable materials collection remains the 5th most dangerous job in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
SWANA Responds to BLS Industry Fatality Data

SEATTLE (Waste Advantage): Jeremy Miller of WM.MILLER SCRAP IRON & METAL Co. (Winona, MN) was recently reelected to his third term in the Minnesota Senate. Miller was also appointed as Deputy Majority Leader and Chairman of the Senate Jobs and Economic Growth Finance and Policy Committee.

Refuse and recyclable materials collection remains the 5th most dangerous job in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The 2015 National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries released in December shows that the rate of fatalities among waste collection workers has risen since 2014. The results of this report highlight the necessity and value of ongoing safety programming within the industry. The 2015 BLS data for collection workers shows a rate of 38.8 fatalities per 100,000 full-time employees, up from 35.8 the year before. This continues an upward trend in the rate since 2012.

SWANA continues efforts to educate and advance awareness for better industry safety practices through its integrated Safety Matters program and access to free safety-focused resources online and in-person. “Although we feel we have been making progress, this data shows that we are not yet where we need to be,” stated Luann Meyer, Safety Ambassador of SWANA’s New York Chapter. “We have to keep making safety a top priority.”

The Safety Matters Web page is an online resource portal that serves as a central place for SWANA members and other industry professionals to access the latest in safety news, important safety materials and upcoming safety events. Included on the Web page is information about each of SWANA’s safety initiatives—including the Safety Ambassador program, Slow Down to Get Around decal distribution, Safety Awards—and direct links to outside resources, such as OSHA and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). “We are not surprised by the BLS data, as we track all fatalities in the U.S. and Canada involving waste personnel and equipment. There’s lots of work to be done to get the waste collection industry off the list of top 10 most dangerous jobs in the U.S.,” said SWANA Executive Director and CEO David Biderman. “With our Safety Matters Web page and frequent workshops across the country, our goal is to provide the helpful and necessary resources to contribute to reducing accidents and injuries in the industry. Nothing we do is more important.”

“Unfortunately it’s the nature of the business that our workers are exposed to increased risk with heavy equipment and the types of work they are doing,” stated David Horne, SWANA’s Pennsylvania Eastern Region Safety Ambassador. “The solid waste industry needs to keep fighting the fight, as far as safety is concerned, so we can start moving in a positive direction from year to year.”

Courtesy: This article originally ran in the January 2017 issue of Waste Advantage Magazine. View

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