New York Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (NY FACE)

Sanitation Fatal Injury Facts

In upstate New York, 7 workers died while collecting refuse between 2003 and 2005. Below are real-life descriptions of workers who were killed on the job.

picture of garbage truck

  • A 21-year-old sanitation worker was riding on a garbage truck that was backing down a street. He fell off the back of the truck and was run over by the front wheel.
  • A 30-year-old sanitation worker was riding on a garbage truck on a rainy morning when the truck went around a corner. He fell off the truck and struck his head on the pavement.
  • A 24-year-old sanitation worker was collecting recyclables while standing on the rear platform of a moving garbage truck. He fell and struck his head.
  • A 60-year-old recycling truck driver was working alone collecting recyclables. He slipped beneath the truck's rear wheels and the truck rolled over him.

How Can These Accidents be Prevented?

  • Drivers should:
    • Find all workers, either directly or in mirrors, before moving in any direction. Stop backing immediately if you can't see all workers.
    • Avoid sudden starts or stops that could cause riders to be thrown from riding steps.
    • Wait for step riders to signal before putting the truck in motion.
  • Other crew members should:
    • Ride in the cab or a separate vehicle when not on the collection route.
    • Use riding steps only when the truck is moving forward for short distances (<0.2 mi.) at slow speeds (<10 mph).
    • Ride facing the side of the truck with both hands on the handholds.
    • Step (do not jump) off steps only after the truck has completely stopped.
    • Wear slip-resistant footwear and avoid narrow cleats or spikes.
    • Be aware of the driver's blind spot. If you can't see the driver in the mirror, he can't see you.

New York Fatality Assessment & Control Evaluation (NY FACE)

The NY FACE program is supported by a grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Additional information can be obtained by contacting:

New York State Department of Health
Bureau of Occupational Health and Injury Prevention
Empire State Plaza-Corning Tower, Room 1336
Albany, New York 12237