Bureau of Labor Statistics

Hazards of refuse collection

July 28, 1999

Refuse collection is one of the most hazardous jobs in the country. From 1992 to 1997, the fatality rate for refuse collectors was 10 times the overall on-the-job fatality rate.

Annual number of refuse collector fatalities, 1992-97
[Chart data—TXT]

The fatality rate for refuse collectors averaged 46 deaths per 100,000 workers per year. The fatality rate for all occupations was 4.7 deaths per 100,000 workers.

There were 132 fatally injured refuse collectors in the 1992-97 period. The annual number of fatalities ranged from 18 in 1993 to 29 in 1995. Vehicles inflicted most deaths involving refuse collectors.

These data are a product of the BLS Safety and Health Statistics Program. Additional information is available from "Job Hazards in the Waste Industry" (PDF 38K), Compensation and Working Conditions, Summer 1999.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Hazards of refuse collection at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/1999/jul/wk4/art03.htm (visited January 17, 2022).

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