© Loren Rodgers & JSM | Adobestock

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Maryland, released its 2017 solid waste industry fatality data April 18.

According to SWANA, the organization records and investigates fatal incidents that involve solid waste management as part of its mission and releases the subsequent data to create a better understanding of the state of safety in the solid waste industry and help identify where improvements are necessary.

© Loren Rodgers & JSM | Adobestock

Some highlights of the report include:

  • There were 132 recorded fatalities in 2017, an 18 percent increase in total fatalities compared with 2016, with almost all incidents occurring in the United States.
  • Of those killed in waste-related incidents, 94 were members of the public and 38 were workers.
  • Most of the deaths involving a member of the public occurred on the road, with 60 percent involving a solid waste vehicle and at least one other vehicle.
  • Of the 38 workers who died on the job in 2017, approximately 60 percent were killed during collection and 21 percent died at a landfill. The remainder occurred at material recovery facilities (MRFs), transfer stations and other locations. A disproportionate number of these incidents involved small companies, usually haulers with fewer than 20 trucks.
  • More than 75 percent of the incidents involved a private sector solid waste company.
  • October 2017 had the most fatalities at 17, though no month had less than eight. In 2016, the month of April experienced the most fatalities with 13, while January had the least with four.
  • The top 10 states with the most fatalities included: Texas (13), California (10), New York (9), Florida (8), Pennsylvania (8), Maryland (7), Georgia (7), New Jersey (6), Illinois (5) and Ohio (5).
  • The 2017 solid waste industry fatality charts are available to download at https://bit.ly/2vyqcuu.