Philadelphia Sanitation Workers Compensation Attorney

Sanitation Workers

Sanitation work is a vital, but also extremely hazardous occupation. Those who collect refuse are outside year-round in every type of weather, and in close proximity to moving traffic.

Sanitation workers in industries like meat, poultry, and food processing must clean the machinery and areas being used for slaughter at the end of every day. These crews ensure that all product-contact surfaces throughout the facilities comply with requirements set out by the Food Safety and Inspection Service. Other sanitation workers are responsible for the proper disposal of toxic chemicals.

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Most sanitation work involves the operation of dangerous heavy equipment, which can cause serious injury. Thousands of sanitation workers are injured every year, with refuse and recyclable collectors ranking fifth in the top ten occupations with high fatal work injury rates, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Common Injuries to Sanitation Workers and Their Causes

  • Cuts, lacerations, and puncture wounds from glass, metal, and sharp objects like needles
  • Electrocution
  • Toxic chemical exposure from hazardous substances that have not been properly disposed of or from powerful cleaning chemicals
  • Lifting injuries from handling heavy garbage bins and refuse
  • Repetitive stress injuries from completing the same tasks day in and out
  • Struck by injuries from debris and objects being compacted in the truck
  • Broken bones and back injuries from slip and falls in icy or wet conditions
  • Crushing injuries and amputations from vehicle accidents and accidents with compacting equipment

Traffic accidents can occur when impatient drivers attempt to pass a sanitation truck too quickly, without first looking carefully for workers who may be on the other side. Injuries from these accidents can be catastrophic and require extensive medical treatment, lengthy hospital stays, and physical therapy afterward.

Prevention of Injury to Sanitation Workers

Employers are responsible for providing a safe work environment for their employees, as well as complying with federal, state, and local regulations. This means eliminating safety hazards. Where this is not possible, implementing safe work procedures and providing personal protective equipment at no cost to workers is essential.

Some of the many things employers can do to protect sanitation workers include:

  • Provide thorough training to workers about the proper use and risks of handling powerful chemical cleaning agents. The training must be given in a language that workers understand
  • Equip trucks with back-up sensors and cameras, and train truck drivers how to safely reverse their trucks
  • Make sure all equipment is in good working order and all machine guarding fits properly
  • Use lockout/Tagout procedures to clean and sanitize equipment

Workers’ Compensation for Sanitation Workers

For sanitation workers who are injured on the job, there are different forms of compensation available, depending on your circumstances. Employees of privately owned businesses are eligible for benefits under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.

Workers’ Compensation benefits may provide some or all of the following:

  • Compensation for lost wages whether you are totally disabled and unable to work, or partially disabled and receiving less pay than before your accident
  • Reimbursement for medical care, including hospital stays, prescription medication, and prostheses
  • Compensation for loss of limb or disfigurement
  • Payments to dependents of a worker killed in a work accident

If you are a city or state sanitation worker, you have the same rights as a civilian employee, but claims can be denied by government employers. Consult with an experienced work injury lawyer to ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to.

If your accident was caused by a reckless driver, faulty equipment, or a party other than your employer, then a third-party lawsuit may be appropriate. In this case, you may be awarded damages for pain and suffering, in addition to lost wages and medical expenses.

Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP Assist Injured Sanitation Workers

At Gross & Kenny, LLP our practice is devoted to the legal needs of injured workers. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience you need on your side to file a successful Workers’ Compensation claim. To speak with a dedicated work injury lawyer in Philadelphia call 215-512-1500 today or contact us online. We are conveniently located in Philadelphia and serve clients throughout Pennsylvania

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