- Initial data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates 33 people died from accidents in the waste and recycling industries in 2013.
- Twenty-six people died in the industry in 2012, according to the bureau.
- John Haudenshield, director of safety for the National Waste & Recycling Association, (NW&RA) a trade organization that represents the waste and recycling industry, noted that most fatalities resulted from employees being struck by vehicles.
Haudenshield said that the BLS data was not surprising, but the increase in fatalities was disappointing. NW&RA is spreading awareness of the issue as it continues promoting the “Slow Down to Get Around” legislation. The law, passed in West Virginia in August 2014, requires drivers to slow down to 15 miles per hour when passing a sanitation truck.
The NW&RA was instrumental in facilitating the adoption of a similar bill in Florida. The “Move Over Act” requires cars to reduce speeds to 20 miles per hour while passing sanitation and utility vehicles.