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The activity of waste collection is fundamental for preserving human health and the environment. As the world population increases, so does the waste production, consequently leading to a higher number of professionals involved in the collection activity. The objective of this study was to identify the main causes of accidents in urban waste collection and to verify if the implementation of containers would reduce the number of accidents in the sector. The causes were identified by analyzing accidents in two waste-collection companies for 4 years. Company A had 3,859 employees with 756 registered accident cases, while company B had 2020 workers with 189 cases. In total, it was analyzed 945 accident cases from urban waste collection. One municipality from company A which implemented the highest number of containers was studied thoroughly to verify if the implementation of containers reduces the number of accidents. The analysis shows that the household collection had the highest accident rate, with 65.61%. Sharp materials and falls were the leading causes of accidents, representing 53% in the company A and 62% in the company B. After containers implementation, the number of accidents caused by sharp materials and falls decreased from 37 without the container in 2014, to 18 with the container in 2015, and 11 with the container in 2016. It was concluded that the implementation of containers improves occupational safety and health during the urban cleaning process. Further studies should be conducted in order to improve the working conditions in the urban cleaning sector.
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