Department of Labor reports
improved safety in solid waste
According to recent reports by the United States Department
of Labor, the number of injuries by solid waste collection
workers continued to decline in 2008. The Federal Bureau
of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced that the injury rate
during 2008 for both solid waste collection and landfill
employees continued to decline, as it has in recent years.
Similarly, the United States Occupational Safety and
Health Administration (OSHA) announced that there was
a decline in OSHA citations issued to the solid waste
industry during fiscal year 2009.
The BLS report indicates that the injury rate for solid
waste collection workers decreased marginally to 7.4
from 7.5 per 100 full time employees, and that the injury
rate fell dramatically for landfill company employees
from 7.1 to 5.4, a 24 percent reduction.
In its industry-specific enforcement data for fiscal
year 2009 (October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2009),
OSHA reported that 279 citations were issued to the United
States solid waste industry, with about $250,000 in penalties
assessed. The number of citations compares very favorably
with fiscal year 2008, when 445 citations were issued
and more than $333,000 in fines were assessed. Violations
of the Hazard Communication, Lockout-Tagout and Respiratory
Protection standards were the most common.