BLS lists waste injury stats


Staff report



WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has released its 2014 Workplace Injury and Illness Data.

For the waste and remediation sector, the report highlighted an increase in total recordable workplace injury and illness cases, a slight decrease in injuries that resulted in job transfers or job restrictions, and the rate of lost workday cases were steady year-over-year. Nationally, the report indicates across all industries a downward trend of incidence rates, with the total recordable cases for private industry falling to 3.2 per 100 full time workers in 2014 from 3.3 in 2013.

The BLS data for the waste and remediation sector shows:

The total recordable cases of workplace injury and illness in the Waste Management and Remedial Services category was 5.1 per 100, an increase from the 2013 rate of 4.7 per 100.

The rate for cases with days away from work was 2.2 per 100, the same rate as in 2013.

The rate for cases that resulted in job transfer or restriction was 1.2 per 100, a slight decrease from the 2013 rate of 1.3 per 100.

In addition, the BLS data found that in the subcategory for solid waste collection employees within the waste and remediation category was even higher:

The total rate of recordable cases for solid waste collection employees was 7.1 per 100, up from the 2013 rate of 6.4 per 100.

The rate of cases with days away from work was 3.3 per 100, slightly up from the 2013 rate of 3.2 per 100.

The rate of cases with job transfer or restrictions was 1.5 per 100, slightly up from the 2013 rate of 1.4 per 100.

“Today’s BLS data reaffirms why our industry is committed to comprehensive approaches to safety that will save lives and reduce rates of injury,” commented Sharon Kneiss, president and chief executive officer of the National Waste & Recycling Association. “The private sector waste and recycling industry has been working together, across competitive lines and in the common interest, to take a wholistic approach to addressing workplace safety. Efforts have included facility safety training programs, driver and collector training and awareness, as well as external efforts in the states to pass legislation to address motorist behavior around trash and collection vehicles. Ten states have now passed ‘Slow Down to Get Around’ legislation, and we will be active in more state capitals in the 2016 legislative sessions. And, tragically, our industry continues to be subject to the deadly consequences of distracted driving where inattentive motorists are causing a hazard to employees in our industry, and more must be done to address public awareness and safe driving generally on our highways.”

The BLS data on workplace injury and illness is published annually, and information on the waste and recycling industry is based on the U.S. Census Bureau definition of the waste and remediation services industry as “solid waste collection, hazardous waste collection, other waste collection, hazardous waste treatment and disposal, solid waste landfill, solid waste combustors and incinerators.” A copy of the BLS announcement can be found at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/osh.nr0.htm.

The National Waste & Recycling Association is the leading organization providing leadership, advocacy, research, education and safety expertise for the waste and recycling industries. NWRA advocates at the Federal, State and Local levels on all issues of importance to our member companies as they provide safe, economically sustainable and environmentally sound services to communities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

For information wasterecycling.org.

Staff report