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Keywords:

  • – Health and safety;
  • injuries;
  • municipal solid waste (MSW);
  • risks

Injury and disease distributions amongst municipal solid waste (MSW) workers in Florida were analyzed from data from the Florida Workers’ Compensation scheme between 1993 to 1997. Municipal solid waste workers in Florida were most commonly exposed to musculoskeletal and dermal injury risks such as strains or sprains, contusions, fractures, and lacerations. Strains or sprains represented 47.7% of all the reported injuries, similar to the proportion found for other Florida industrial workers (45.7%). Waste collectors (drivers or helpers) had a higher risk of injury than other workers in the MSW industry. Whilst injury rates for all Florida industrial workers decreased, the injury rates of MSW workers almost doubled from 1993 to 1997. It was noted that workers’ compensation claims represent only a fraction of total injuries. Possible reasons for the high risks were discussed. Occupational diseases amongst MSW workers are believed to be under reported. Further studies on different waste management worker subpopulations are needed to provide detailed information to reduce these risks.