For every 100,000 sanitation workers in the United States, 30 will die on the job. This sobering statistics proves that sanitation workers are among the most at-risk employees in America. These employees make a median wage of $34,310, putting their lives at risk to put bread on the table. According to the union head for New York City sanitation workers, these men and women leave in the morning with an empty truck and come back with a full one. During the hours that they are out in the city, they are constantly putting their lives in danger.
Most often, injuries and deaths related to this profession are the fault of impatient drivers. Because the waste trucks are large, slow, and bulky, impatient drivers try to squeeze by, sometimes clipping the vehicle or hitting a worker that is trying to manage his machine. The hit and run accidents are numerous, and some employees even die because of an impatient motorist who wants to get past the trash truck.
The other major cause for injury or death in the waste management profession has to do with hazardous materials. When handling other people’s trash, you never know what you are going to find. Workers have died because they unknowingly handled a trash bag full of acid or another harmful chemical. One union representative recently recounted the story of a worker who was killed when the truck crushed a container of acid to CNN.
The employee was standing near the truck and was splattered with the burning chemical. His face and throat were burned, eventually leading to his death. While waste management companies have tried to place emphasis on safety, there are still accidents. By the end of the day, workers are normally exhausted and their judgment is impaired. Talk to a personal injury lawyer at the Pacific Attorney Group if you were harmed on the job in Los Angeles. We can work to help you obtain the workers’ compensation that you deserve.