- A 42-year-old Waste Management worker was killed on-site early Tuesday morning at a facility in Philadelphia when a bale of recycled paper, weighing roughly one-ton, fell on him.
- Police say the man was "performing a routine inspection of his forklift" near the bales of paper when another nearby worker operating a forklift hit the bales of cardboard, which then fell over "in a cascade effect," as reported in Philly.com.
- Both the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and Philadelphia's Northeast Detective Division are investigating the incident. The name of the man has not been released.
Such a tragic accident is a grave reminder of the importance of safety practices throughout the industry.
In an email to Waste Dive, Waste Management VP of Corporate Communications & Community Relations Toni Beck said: "[Tuesday] was a day of profound sadness for our WM team. A family lost their loved one and we lost a teammate. That’s extremely tough. Our thoughts and prayers are with our teammate’s family and our team at the MRF, and we’re helping all those who need help during this difficult time.
"Safety is at the forefront of everything we do – always – and there have been numerous conversations over the past 24 hours or so, to reinforce that. The commitment and resolve of our 40,000-strong team to being safe, every day, is as strong as ever."
SWANA CEO David Biderman echoed a commitment to being safe in response to this incident. In an email to Waste Dive, he said, "I hope that the results of the investigation will yield root causes that can be shared with other private and public sector MRF operators to help prevent this from happening again."