Refuse, Waste Management, And Collection Injuries
Garbage collection, or waste and refuse collection, is “one of the most hazardous jobs” in the world, according to an article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CAMJ). Although fatalities in the waste collection industry are not as common as in other occupations, workers routinely sustain a wide range of injuries that can often be serious. Injuries range from repetitive stress injuries to those caused by exposure to hazardous substances and contact with sharp and dangerous objects. What do you need to know about workplace injuries among refuse and waste collection workers? Consider some of the following information from our Sunrise workers’ compensation attorneys.
Different Types of Workers in Waste Management and Remediation Services
The broader occupation that includes waste collection is described as waste management and remediation services by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to the BLS, workers who are specifically responsible for “refuse and recyclable material collection” are employed in the fifth most dangerous job in the United States, just after logging workers, fishing workers, airline workers, and roofers.
Within the various occupations that make up waste management and remediation services, workers are routinely exposed to various hazards depending upon the specific type of job. Particular jobs that usually fall into this category include, for example:
- Refuse and recyclable material collectors;
- Solid waste landfill workers; and
- Materials recovery facilities (MRFs) workers.
Common Injuries Among Refuse and Waste Collection Workers
Whether a person employed in waste management and remediation services is collecting refuse or recyclables from people’s homes in trucks, is responsible for sorting it at various types of facilities, or is tasked with handling landfill management and related issues, the injuries posed by these jobs are varied and numerous. An article in Waste Dive, which cites various BLS statistics, explains that the following are some of the most common types of injuries that these workers tend to suffer on the job:
- Transportation-related accidents, including vehicle collisions and struck-by accidents;
- Violence caused by other people;
- Injuries caused by animal encounters or dog attacks;
- Slips, trips, and falls;
- Contact with heavy equipment;
- Exposure to hazardous substances;
- Puncture wounds and laceration injuries caused by waste materials; and
- Repetitive motion injuries, including back and shoulder injuries.
How to Seek Compensation After a Waste Collection Injury
Anyone who has been injured on the job in waste collection or remediation work should learn more about obtaining workers’ compensation coverage. Under Florida law, the first step in obtaining workers’ compensation coverage is to report the injury to your employer. Florida law requires you to report the injury within 30 days. After the injury, you will also need to see a doctor for treatment. If you suffer an emergency injury on the job, you can go to the nearest emergency department without needing approval from your employer or the insurer. However, for any subsequent doctor’s visits, you will need to see a doctor who has been approved by your employer or the insurer.
Contact a Sunrise Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you need assistance with a workers’ compensation claim, one of the experienced Sunrise workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. can assist you. We can help you to seek the workers’ compensation benefits you need.