Dirty and Dangerous: Worker Safety and Health in New York City’s Scofflaw Commercial Waste Industry

Source: David M. Newman, New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), May 2016

Workers who collect, transport, sort, and transfer residential and commercial waste for recycling or disposal perform an essential public health service, often at great risk of injury, illness, or death. Waste collection work is one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. Waste workers are ten times more likely to be killed on the job than the average worker and two and a half times more likely to be injured than miners. Nationally, occupational fatalities in private sector solid waste collection are consistently higher than those in local government sanitation agencies; 85% of fatalities in the industry occur in the private sector…..