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.
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.
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 afterwards.
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:
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:
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.
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 267-589-0090 today or contact us online. We are conveniently located in Philadelphia and serve clients throughout Pennsylvania