Solid waste collection health and safety risks - Survey of municipal solid waste collectors

Jeffrey Rogers, James Englehardt, Huren An, Lora E Fleming

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The results of a survey of garbage collectors regarding health and safety aspects of their jobs are presented in this paper. The anonymous questionnaire survey was administered to municipal solid waste (MSW) collectors, as well as supervisors and safety officers (in longer form), in both public and private companies as part of a study to evaluate and reduce occupational risks to Florida Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) workers. Work practices, injuries, illnesses, and working environment reported by 251 responding collectors were analyzed. Results of the survey included reportedly high rates of lacerations, contusions, strain/sprains, and illness. In particular, 75% of the collectors surveyed reported having been injured in the past 12 months, consistent with findings of a previous analyses of Florida Worker's Compensation data and facility accident logs, as well as the Danish MSW literature. Worker responses regarding reasons for injuries and illnesses were used to develop recommendations for reducing risks to MSW workers. Recommendations focuse on management and supervision of workers, communication among route workers, public education regarding risks to collectors from local vehicular traffic and improper disposal, and the design of safety equipment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-160
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Solid Waste Technology and Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Health and safety
  • Injuries
  • Municipal solid waste (msw)
  • Risks
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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