Collection Fatalities Decline in 2007

According to new statistics from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), fatalities for solid waste collection workers declined in 2007. There were 18 deaths for "Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors" last year, down from 37 deaths in the same category in 2006.

The fatality rate for the category declined from 40.7 to 22.8 per 100,000 workers.

“The BLS report reflects the hard work of senior management, safety managers and others at solid waste companies, who have been focusing on improving the safety performance of their employees," said Bruce Parker, president and CEO of the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA), in a press release. "Most companies no longer believe accidents and injuries are part of doing business in this industry.”

“Although the decline in workplace fatalities is welcome, there have been a number of fatalities involving municipal solid waste collectors in 2008, and there has been an increase in struck by accidents,” added David Biderman, NSWMA’s safety manager, in a statement.

To read more about NSWMA's safety initiatives, click here. And to request broadcast-quality copies of television and radio ads promoting the association's "Slow Down to Get Around" safety campaign, contact Biderman at or (202) 364-3743. And to request a "Slow Down to Get Around" truck decal, contact or (859) 331-3733.