US Bureau of Labor Statistics releases industry fatality data

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has released its final figures for 2015 industry and occupational fatality data. In its “2015 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary,” BLS states that refuse and recycling collectors ranked fifth among American workers in terms of workplace fatalities, totaling 33 fatalities in 2015, increasing from 27 in 2014 and from 33 in 2013.

The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA), Washington, says its analysis of the data shows that much of this increase was attributable to an increase in fatalities in the private sector, where they increased from 18 the prior year to 24. Fatalities in the public sector held steady at nine. Both the private and public sectors are one fatality greater than their five-year average. The incidence rate moved upward to 38.8 fatalities per 100,000 workers from 35.8 in 2014, the organziation says.

NWRA, which represents private industry waste and recycling companies nationwide, says it has spearheaded an industrywide series of initiatives in concert with its member companies designed to reduce fatalities, injuries and accidents in the waste and recycling industry. In March 2016, the association hosted a Safety Summit with leading safety professionals, adopting a three-year strategic plan designed to reduce the rates of fatalities, injuries and accidents.