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New SWANA Report Focuses on Safety at Landfills

By January 15, 2020 March 20th, 2020 News, Safety

Safety is a primary focus for SWANA. The SWANA Applied Research Foundation (ARF) identified the need for research on innovations in employee and customer safety at municipal solid waste landfills and focused on that topic for its latest report, “Employee, Commercial Hauler, and Self-hauler Safety at Landfills.”

The report evaluates Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) worker fatality data for solid waste landfill employees for the years 2008 through 2018. These data indicate there were an average of five landfill worker fatalities per year over the last eleven years. The illness and injury rates for solid waste landfills over the same period averaged 5.1 cases per hundred full-time employees. According to BLS, the main causes of injuries and illnesses at landfills are overexertion and bodily reaction, contact with objects and equipment; falls, slips, and trips; transportation incidents; and exposure to harmful substances and environments.

The report examines the causes of illness/injury and fatality data and provides possible solutions to decrease these rates. For example, overexertion and bodily reaction injuries may suggest a need for increased focus on proper hydration, breaks, and employee fitness.

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