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‘We can and must do better’: Report analyzes sanitation worker deaths

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Photo: Alex Potemkin/iStockphoto

Silver Spring, MD — At least 52 sanitation workers in the United States and Canada died from on-the-job injuries in 2020 – a figure that remained steady from the prior year, according to a recent analysis from the Solid Waste Association of North America.

Examining fatality data from industry sources and media reports, SWANA found that almost 70% of the fatalities occurred during collection operations. Additionally, at least 76 civilian fatalities associated with industry operations occurred in 2020.

The association reported 53 worker fatalities in 2019.

“There continues to be too many avoidable fatal incidents in and involving the solid waste industry,” SWANA Executive Director and CEO David Biderman said in a press release. “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.”

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