2019 Solid Waste Fatality Data

Mar. 21, 2020

Silver Spring, MD – At least 53 solid waste industry workers died on the job in 2019 in the United States and Canada, according to the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA). The most common cause of death was being struck by one’s own waste vehicle, followed by single vehicle accidents involving only a waste vehicle. Over 40 percent of worker fatalities were a result of one of these two causes.

Solid waste and recycling collection continues to have the highest occurrence of fatalities, representing about 68 percent of worker deaths. Fatalities at landfills increased slightly from 8 in 2018 to 11 in 2019 and fatalities at MRFs increased from 3 to 4. 

“The number of solid waste-related fatalities continued at unusually high levels in 2019,” commented David Biderman, SWANA’s Executive Director and CEO.  “Although there was a small decline from 2018, and that slight improvement has continued into 2020, we remain concerned about the solid waste industry’s overall safety performance. We urge all employers and employees to take advantage of the growing number and variety of SWANA safety resources,” he added.

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