Request for Proposals – Understanding the Injury and Fatality Risks Associated with Solid Waste Collection using Lagging Indicators

Submission Deadline 2/11/2022

The solid waste industry consists of collection, treatment, and other waste remediation services (NAICS 562). Despite significant efforts to keep solid waste management workers safe through extensive training and education, there are still injuries and, unfortunately, fatalities in this industry. Sources of data that provide some information on injuries and fatalities are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), and state workers compensation. BLS provides injury and fatality data by industry, but this organization significantly limits access to the microdata. FARS data is available, but this database only includes vehicular fatalities, not injuries or fatalities that occurred from any other source. Overall, the solid waste management industry lacks comprehensive information on injuries and fatalities from both a historical and current perspective, which is necessary to guide the development of safety best management practices and technologies.

Research Focus Areas
Submissions of scientific research proposals are requested to create an understanding of fatalities and injuries in the solid waste management industry and should include the following:

  • Use of BLS, FARS, state workers compensation, and other available data to identify overall trends in the industry over time (e.g., using NAICS codes). This effort should also include an in-depth analysis
  • Develop a database of fatal injuries annually over the past 2 decades in the industry, specifically pertaining to:
    • Waste collection vehicles (e.g. residential refuse collection trucks, commercial waste collection, transfer trucks, roll-off trucks, etc.)
    • Non-road mobile equipment (i.e. bulldozers, compactors, wheel loaders) at waste processing facilities (e.g. transfer stations, landfills, recycling facilities, etc.)
  • Identify what causal factors led to the injuries (e.g. violence, transportation, fires/explosions, falls/slips/trips, exposure to harmful substance/environment, contact w/ objects and equipment)
  • Identify other relevant factors/variables that may contribute or correlate to these injuries, such as:
    • time of incident,
    • color of truck,
    • years of experience of those involved,
    • safety equipment installed,
    • roadway description,
    • type of collection route,
    • truck make model,
    • type of truck,
    • if the jurisdiction had mobile phone use ban or a move over law covering waste and recycling workers
  • Compare fatality statistics compiled as part of this effort with those from other relevant industries (e.g. mining, trucking, etc.)
  • Identify any potential data gaps that exist where such data is less easily obtained that might lead to a more completed picture of the injuries and fatalities affecting the solid waste industry

Proposals submitted in response to this RFP should consider the focus areas noted herein. Projects and research previously funded by the Foundation can be viewed on its website. Previously awarded grants have ranged from $15,000 to over $500,000 with the average grant amount in recent years being $160,000. Typical project durations are about 2 years.

Submission Instructions and Deadline
The proposal template must be used for all submissions and is available at the following link and on the application page (linked below). This template also includes details on formatting your submission. All submissions must include the project duration and budget. EREF will not pay indirect or overhead costs in excess of 25%. Cost sharing is permitted, but not required. Additional details on budget guidelines and restrictions can be found on EREF’s website.

Proposals will be accepted through our third-party platform InfoReady up until midnight (11:59 pm Eastern Time) on 2/11/2022. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Review Process
All proposals received will be screened by EREF staff and project stakeholders prior to selection. Note that this project will be conducted under EREF’s Data & Policy Program and, as a result, does not follow the typical screen process used as part of EREF’s Grants Program. Nonetheless, it is expected the review process may take up to 15 weeks from the solicitation deadline before notification of a decision is made.

Questions regarding this RFP should be directed to Dr. Bryan Staley, preferably via email (