NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Occupational Safety and Health in the Solid Waste Industry.

NIOSH 1972 Nov:7 pages
The high injury rate among workers in the solid waste management industry was discussed. Solid waste management issues in general were described, including the amount of waste produced in the United States, the costs of waste removal, incinerators, land disposal sites, litter, and abandoned vehicles. The accident rate in the solid waste industry was almost twice the rate of that in the underground coal mining industry. The severity of these accidents was 300 percent greater than for those occurring to industrial workers. A study conducted by the National Safety Council suggested that in cities with a population of over 100,000 the frequency rate for these accidents was nine times that of the average industrial worker. Back strains were the leading single type of injury, accounting for 25 percent of those reported. Sprained ankles accounted for 7 percent. Some of the contributing factors were narrow streets and alleys, inadequate, old or poorly maintained equipment, faulty design, and variation in requirements for size, weight, type, and contents of refuse containers and bundles. Cuts, lacerations, and punctures accounted for 14 percent of the lost time injuries to refuse collectors. Some accidents result from human lack of preparedness, insufficient rest, poor physical conditioning, and personal problems.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Testimony; Thelen-D-S; Worker-health; Sanitation; Sanitation-engineering; Waste-disposal; Industrial-wastes; Incineration; Environmental-pollution; Accident-prevention; Accident-analysis;
Publication Date
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Source Name
NIOSH, 7 pages
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division