SWANA Urges Helpers Not to Ride on Steps When Truck is Backing

SWANA Urges Helpers Not to Ride on Steps When Truck is Backing

Reminder issued in response to Long Island fatality

Silver Spring, MD – Over the weekend, a solid waste collection employee died following a fatal collision with a tractor trailer in Nassau County, just outside of New York City. According to local media reports, the truck was backing onto a customer’s property when it was struck. The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) reminds all solid waste and recycling collection workers that riding on the riding steps or the back of the truck when the truck is backing is very dangerous and can lead to a fatality.

“We are saddened by this worker’s tragic death, which likely would have been prevented if he had not been riding on the outside of the truck when the collision took place. One of the most important rules in the waste industry is not to be riding on the outside of the truck when the truck is going backwards. It violates the applicable ANSI standard and is simply an unsafe practice,” stated David Biderman, SWANA Executive Director and CEO. Biderman added that one of SWANA’s Safety Matters newsletters highlighted this specific hazard earlier this year.

SWANA provides a growing number of useful safety resources to the solid waste and recycling industry, including “Five to Stay Alive,” a list of safety tips for industry employees. SWANA’s Safety Matters is an important source of topical information for safety meetings and toolbox talks and is relied on by local governments and haulers throughout the United States and Canada. To receive the newsletter, please email

SWANA will host a Safety Summit at WASTECON® in Orlando, FL on November 1-4, 2021. This important in-person event will bring together industry professionals from the public and private sector to focus on improving safety at their agencies and companies.

To learn more about SWANA’s safety initiatives, visit