Several years ago, a sports commentator suggested to Bill Parcells, the legendary Hall of Fame football coach, that maybe his team was better than their mediocre record would indicate. Without hesitation, Parcells insisted that, “You are what your record says you are.” By that measure, the solid waste industry stinks at safety.
The occupation of refuse and recycling collector remains the fifth most dangerous in the country. Those who claim to be champions of safety are clearly exaggerating about the effectiveness of their work. There have been far too many preventable fatalities, injuries and accidents.
Most disturbing, for example, are OSHA reports demonstrating that our industry’s fatality rate is still trending upward when overall trucking is going down! By the end of 2015 alone, we were involved in 74 fatal incidents. Further, OSHA reports that our industry’s recordable injury rate is the second highest in the land and way ahead of the comparisons, save construction.