NC Solid Waste Fatalities Rise

    North Carolina fatalities continue to rise exceeding previous years totals early on in 2020. From 2016 to 2019 the solid waste industry lost one of its own each year. In 2020, amidst COVID 19, the industry lost three members. The public served lost three lives as well, leaving this the deadliest year in recent history with 4 months to go.

    Multiple fatalities were clearly preventable and beyond the actions of just one person. If employees knew the consequences of failing to follow industry standards for residentia collection or were trained correctly, lives would have been saved. I implore everyone reading this to review industry standard practices available through SWANA’s Hauler Outreach Program and take the Pledge.

    Basic Practices Required:
          With helpers on collection vehicle rear platforms:
             o Stay under 10 mph
             o Stay within 2/10 of a mile between stops
             o Keep 4 points of contact
             o Face forward
             o Never back up

    Every Solid Waste Professional should be wearing ANSI Class II reflective gear and watching out for each other as they work. Keep eyes moving and spend as little time behind the vehicle as possible.  

    I’ll leave you with advise from every police officer I’ve ever met. If there is one think you could do to prevent an accident, it’s slow down.

    SLOW Down, BUCKLE Up, and Stay Safe through the end of 2020.


    John C. Pfleger, M.S.

    NC SWANA Safety Ambassador