The waste and recycling collection industry is a necessity for modern day life. It is also one of the most dangerous. In fact, the waste and recycling industry is the 5th most dangerous occupation in the United States. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), workers in solid waste collection were also in the top three job classifications to have the highest number of nonfatal injuries and illnesses, most caused by overexertion, being struck-by, striking against, or being compressed in equipment.
Waste continues to be an undervalued and misunderstood industry. What the public neglects to realize is that it keeps society as we know it moving. They also don’t realize the efforts that go on behind the scenes to comply with a vast number of regulations and initiatives to keep people safe.
A growing economy means better jobs, higher wages, lower gas prices, and more vehicles on the road.
This has led to a 14% increase of roadway fatalities, the biggest two-year jump in more than five decades and the National Safety Council has indicated that the costs associated with these accidents have reached $242 billion economically and $871 billion societally.
These factors have a significant impact on heavy-duty industries, including waste.
By David Biderman, Executive Director & CEO of
The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA)
When I tell people who are not in the solid waste industry that refuse and recycling collection is the 5th most deadly job in the United States, they are almost always amazed. The public doesn’t realize that thousands of men and women are putting their lives on the line each day to take care of their garbage.
But to those who work the routes or send employees out each day, the dangers of the job are far too real. In 2016 alone, SWANA recorded 46 worker fatalities in the US, half of which were drivers and helpers out collecting garbage. It is simply unacceptable to have so many people die on the job. These are parents, grandparents, spouses, sons and daughters who are not coming home to their families at the end of the day.
When the average citizen sees a waste collection crew rumbling down the street, they probably don’t realize that they’re witnessing people engaged in the fifth-deadliest occupation in America. Refuse and recycling materials collection is preceded only by roofing, aircraft piloting, fishing, and logging in the ranks of most dangerous occupations.
According to OSHA, 25% of waste management-related accidents are the result of slips and falls when drivers and helpers enter or exit vehicles. Another 25% of accidents occur when trucks and equipment are backing up.
PRECO Electronics proudly announces the 2016 Safety in Motion Award recipients as Solid Waste Association of North America’s (SWANA) David Biderman and City of Oxnard Environmental Resources Division’s George Van Hemert. Both recipients have continually demonstrated their unparalleled commitment to safety to distinguish themselves as leaders in safety.
The 2016 Safety in Motion Award also recognized Clint McGinty of Phoenix Services and James Zertuche of NAPCO Precast as finalists for this year’s award. Both runners-up continue to drive safety within their companies and industries. PRECO congratulates them on their nominations and recognition for being finalists for the 2016 Safety in Motion Award.
To counter the rise of injuries and deaths that stretch across heavy-duty industries, both on-road and off-road, initiatives that aim to promote workforce health and safety are being adopted countrywide.
Preco’s PreView® Wireless WorkSight® solution was unveiled and demonstrated at this year’s IFAT Conference, held in Munich, Germany May 30-June 3. Preco demonstrated its new solution within MEKRA Lang’s IFAT booth located in Hall C4, Stand 116. MEKRAtronics, a business division of MEKRA Lang GmbH & Co. KG, is a premiere distributor of Preco’s active safety products within Europe.
Available for the first time in Europe, Preco’s Wireless WorkSight addresses the needs of the waste and recycling market with a proven and cost effective solution that improves the efficiency of the operator and the safety of the surrounding work environment.
Preco Electronics’ wireless collision mitigation system is changing the Waste Industry’s use and understanding of active safety solutions.
Developed with the same rugged and advanced features as the entire Preco line of safety solutions, PreView® Wireless WorkSight® eliminates the body cables and reduces the installation time for its customers and OEM partners.
The National Waste & Recycling Association launched the Safety Stand Down initiative this week in an effort to further draw attention to the dangers that come with working in the waste and recycling industry.
During the week-long campaign, participating waste and recycling companies will conduct risk assessments at job sites and review safety policies and procedures for backing; review company policies, procedures, consider enhancements and then train employees on any changes.