Injury Rate Higher in Public Sector Waste Operations, Says BLS

Local government solid waste operations have an injury and illness rate that is more than four times greater than that of private solid waste operations, according to numbers released recently by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The numbers were distributed Wednesday by the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA), which represents private waste firms.

According to the BLS, private solid waste operations had an incident rate of 198.5 per 10,000 workers in 2009. Local government waste operations had an incident rate of 877.2 per 10,000 workers last year. The overall incident rate for waste operations was 436.1 per 10,000 workers.

Additionally, the median number of days that a private industry waste worker was away from the job after suffering an illness or injury was five in 2009. For public waste workers, the median number was eight.