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Waste & Recycling November 13, 2017 03:30:01 PM

Waste and Recycling Associations Analyze Latest BLS Data

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
The BLS Report shows that solid waste collection employee injury and illness rate in 2016 declined to the lowest level in past 10 years, dropping from 6.6 in 2015 to 5.2 per 100 full time employees (FTE) in 2016.
Waste and Recycling Associations Analyze Latest BLS Data

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): Silver Spring, Maryland-based Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and Arlington, Virginia-based National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) have issued comments to the latest industry injury and illness data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) under the US Department of Labor (USDL).

According to SWANA, the BLS data suggests substantial decline in injury and illness rates in private solid waste collection industry in 2016. On the contrary, the employees from landfills and material recovery facilities (MRFs) witnessed increases during the previous year. David Biderman, CEO and executive director, SWANA stated that organization will conduct a thorough review of the 2015 and 2016 data to better understand the reasons for the decline in injury and illness rates among collection employees. Meantime, Biderman noted that the increased rate for landfill and recycling workers is troubling. The Association had recently identified 13 fatal collection incidents in the country, which indicates that much more needs to be done to eliminate waste collection from the list of top 10 most dangerous jobs in the country.

Meantime, Darrell Smith, President and CEO, NWRA said that the BLS Report highlights the significant progress made in efforts to improve safety performance across the nation. Earlier in 2015, NWRA had designated safety as a strategic initiative. Further to this, it has been organizing various events including Safety Stand Downs and educational awareness campaigns to its employees. The tools such as ‘Safety Monday’ and the series of educational sessions have contributed towards improvement of best practices within the industry, with special focus on industry safety.

As per the BLS data, approximately 2.9 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry employers during the entire year 2016. This is nearly 48,500 fewer cases of injury and illness reported during the year, when compared with the prior year. Also, nearly one-third of the non-fatal injuries and illnesses were of a more serious nature, thereby resulting in days away from work.

The BLS Report shows that solid waste collection employee injury and illness rate in 2016 declined to the lowest level in past 10 years, dropping from 6.6 in 2015 to 5.2 per 100 full time employees (FTE) in 2016. However, the injury and illness rate in landfills increased year-on-year from 3.5 to 4.9 per 100 FTE in 2016. Also, MRF workers injury and illness rate increased from 5.1 per 100 FTE in 2015 to 6.0 in the previous year.

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