SWANA Beaver Chapter
Oregon & Idaho

SWANA Reports 52 Solid Waste Industry Worker Fatalities in 2020

SWANA encourages increase in safety training, with focus on collection hazards at Safety Summit

Silver Spring, MD – The Solid Waste Association of North America reported 52 municipal solid waste industry workers were killed in 2020 in the United States and Canada, with nearly 70 percent occurring during collection. This data was shared by Jesse Maxwell, SWANA Advocacy & Safety Senior Manager, at SWANA’s virtual Safety Summit¬†on February 25.

The most common type of fatal event was a single vehicle accident in which only a waste collection vehicle was involved. The second most common fatality was being struck by a waste collection vehicle, either as a helper or when a driver was out of the cab. This suggests that rushing may be contributing to these tragic incidents, and that reminding collection crews of best practices for safety is needed.

“There continues to be too many avoidable fatal incidents in and involving the solid waste industry,” stated David Biderman, SWANA Executive Director & CEO. “This trend has continued into 2021, with 17 fatal incidents recorded in the first two months of the year. We can and must do better.”