The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its 2019 Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illness report. According to the report, private industry employers reported 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses last year. The overall injury rate for the waste and recycling industry remained steady at 4.2. The injury rate at materials recovery facilities (MRFs) fell sharply to 3.6 from 4.9. The injury rate for solid waste collection fell slightly to 5.8 from 5.9. The rate for landfills ticked up to 4.9 from 3.9. Approximately 65 percent of landfills in the country are owned and operated by municipalities; just 35 percent are owned and operated by private companies.
“The recent BLS data tell us we have more work to do to reduce injuries and illness in the waste and recycling industry. Though we are pleased with the significant drop at MRFs, it is important that we work just as hard to reduce injuries and illness across the industry,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith. “We cannot be satisfied with this report.”