SWANA has recorded 22 solid waste-related deaths during the first month of 2019 in the U.S. and Canada, an unprecedented run of fatalities. Eight workers died on the job in January, and 15 members of the public were killed in collisions with waste vehicles. January 2019 now unseats the previous worst month for fatalities, January 2018, when 19 people were killed. It should be noted that virtually none of the January 2019 fatal incidents were due to snow or winter weather driving conditions.
Aside from the sheer number of fatal incidents in one month’s time, it is notable that four of the worker deaths occurred at landfills. For all twelve months of 2018, SWANA only recorded nine worker fatalities at landfills. Additionally, four of the 22 incidents in January occurred in Canada, compared to four in the entire country for all of 2018.
Identifying that we have a problem is only the first step, as we now need to come together as an industry to put a stop to this epidemic of tragic events. SWANA provides free resources on its Safety Matters webpage, which contains valuable tools for both collection and post-collection.
Our recent webinar, Improving Collection and Post-Collection Safety Practices, is now available for sale as a recording on SWANA.org. This offers a great opportunity for a team to refresh its safety training.
SWANA will also host numerous safety events this year and the issue will be discussed at SWANApalooza in Boston, Massachusetts, February 25-28, as well as at SWANA’s 7th Safety Summit at WASTECON® in Phoenix, Arizona, October 21-24.
Everyone is urged to take the SWANA Safety Pledge to demonstrate their commitment to making the rest of 2019 a safer year. Together, we must consider worker, customer, and public safety in every decision that we make.
Accidents in the News Through January 31, 2019
Wolcott, NY – A 77-year-old man died after driving his car into a garbage truck that was stopped for collection. No one was in the truck at the time of the crash. MORE
Beckley, WV – A garbage truck was turning and collided with a Jeep Wrangler travelling north, killing the 35-year-old man driving the Jeep. MORE
Oskaloosa, KS – A 59-year-old worker was operating a tipper at a landfill when he was crushed to death between a backing semi-trailer and the dock. MORE
Midlothian, TX – An SUV ran into the back of a garbage truck headed in the same direction. The driver of the SUV was killed. MORE
Westminster, CA – A 40-year-old motorcyclist was struck and killed after trying to pass a garbage truck on the right-hand side. MORE
Denton County, TX – A tractor-trailer and a garbage truck collided on a highway, causing the garbage truck to tip over and killing the driver. MORE
Longmont, CO –A 39-year-old driver was turning left at a stop sign when he was struck and killed by a garbage truck. MORE
Vancouver, BC – A garbage truck was struck by a train at a railroad crossing, killing the truck driver. MORE
Washington County, IL – A 51-year-old man was killed after he failed to stop at a stop sign and his vehicle was struck by a garbage truck at the intersection. MORE
New Orleans, LA – A 52-year-old spotter was killed after being struck by a bulldozer and then buried under debris. The worker went missing and was later found by a search and rescue team in the landfill. MORE
Lewisburg, TN – An employee at a landfill was struck and killed by a dump truck while assisting a disabled motorist near the landfill entrance. MORE
Stockwell, IN –A vehicle crashed into the back of a stopped garbage truck, killing the 27-year-old driver of the car. A worker on the back was able to jump out of the way prior to the collision. MORE
Toronto, ON –A woman sleeping on a grate was struck by a garbage truck reversing down an alleyway. MORE
Daly, CA – A 58-year-old garbage truck driver struck a parked car and then ended up outside of the truck, becoming crushed between the vehicles. MORE
Bronx, NY – A 28-year-old police officer who had just come off of duty drove head-on into an NYC Parks Department garbage truck. MORE
Toronto, ON – A garbage truck making a right turn struck and killed a man when he fell onto the roadway and was hit by the truck. MORE
Jacinto City, TX – A man crossing on a red light at an intersection was struck and killed by a garbage truck. MORE
Montreal, QC – A 79-year-old woman was struck and killed by a garbage truck that was exiting an alley and turning. MORE
Morton, WA – A vehicle crossed the center line and struck a garbage truck head-on, killing the 63-year-old vehicle driver. MORE
Mariposa, CA – An 83-year-old male driver was killed after colliding head on with an oncoming garbage truck after crossing the double yellow center line on a curve. MORE
Columbus, GA – A garbage truck transporting tree limbs and yard waste collided with another vehicle, killing the 63-year-old driver of the car. MORE
Fort Worth, TX – A 31-year-old woman was killed at a MRF when a 1-ton bale of recycled material fell on her. MORE