NWRA Responds to 2019 Injury and Illness Report from BLS

NWRA Responds to 2019 Injury and Illness Report from BLS

Arlington, VA –The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its 2019 Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illness report. According to the report, private industry employers reported 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses last year.

The overall injury rate for the waste and recycling industry remained steady at 4.2. The injury rate at materials recovery facilities (MRFs) fell sharply to 3.6 from 4.9. The injury rate for solid waste collection fell slightly to 5.8 from 5.9. The rate for landfills ticked up to 4.9 from 3.9. Approximately 65 percent of landfills in the country are owned and operated by municipalities; just 35 percent are owned and operated by private companies.

“The recent BLS data tell us we have more work to do to reduce injuries and illness in the waste and recycling industry. Though we are pleased with the significant drop at MRFs, it is important that we work just as hard to reduce injuries and illness across the industry,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith. “We cannot be satisfied with this report.”

NWRA has a Safety Committee that meets regularly to share best practices and strengthen the culture of safety within the industry.


The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) represents the private sector waste and recycling services industry. Association members conduct business in all 50 states and include companies that manage waste, recycling and medical waste, equipment manufacturers and distributors, and a variety of other service providers. For more information about NWRA, please visit www.wasterecycling.org.

Brandon Wright
National Waste and Recycling Association