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On behalf of Koszdin, Fields & Sherry posted in Workers Compensation on Monday, November 13, 2017.

Many people don’t think too much about the hazards of certain jobs unless they are the ones who are doing them. The duties of sanitation workers fall under this category. These men and women are doing everyone in their area the important task of taking away trash, which is something most people wouldn’t want to do.

The job conditions that sanitation workers face daily can injure or kill them. Here are some important points to remember about the workers in this industry:

More dangerous than mining

People know that the mining industry is dangerous. Sanitation workers face an injury risk 2.5 times greater than that of miners. The fatality risk for these workers is 100 times that of all industries. While the risks of this job are present all the time, lax safety guidelines by the employers can exacerbate the issue.

Prominent dangers

Think about the things people might put in the trash. Hazardous items, rotten food, medical supplies and other similar items are sometimes found in the trash. Workers are exposed to those each day they are on the truck. A needle could poke through a bag and stick a worker. A piece of glass could slice one of the people on the trash truck or at the dump.

Another hazard they face is from the trucks themselves. When items are crushed, there is great pressure in the truck. If an item was to fly out of the truck during this process, it would be like a projectile weapon. The moving parts of the truck pose another hazard.

Other drivers also put sanitation workers at risk. These individuals sometimes ride on the back of the truck. Cars passing the trash truck out of frustration can strike the worker and cause an injury.

Types of injuries

The possible injuries range from cuts and bruises up to death. Cuts are a big issue for these workers because they are around trash that can have bacteria and other contaminants, which can lead to serious infections. Amputations are possible due to the moving components on the trucks. Broken bones, crushing injuries, brain injuries and spinal cord injuries can also occur.

In the case of more serious injuries, the worker might need to leave the job and get medical care. They might not be able to return to work right away. This means they lose their income and have to take time to heal. Sanitation workers who suffer an on-the-job injury can seek workers’ compensation benefits.

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