Sanitation workers carry out a critical function in our society, but the job comes with many risks.
When you think of a fatal workplace injury, you’re probably imagining something like a factory setting, a logging operation, or a semi-truck losing control. This image is reasonable, given that those occupations are some of the most dangerous in the United States. What people often don’t think about is an industry that flies below the radar: Sanitation. In reality, sanitation workers have the fifth highest fatality rate of any job. Once you think about it, you can understand why. Their job consists of driving, using heavy machinery, and dealing with potentially harmful chemicals. If you are a sanitation worker that has sustained an injury, speak with a St. Louis work injury lawyer to discuss your options. Even if you haven’t, learning the hazards of the profession is highly useful.
Punctures and Lacerations
While much of our trash is soft, like paper or food, some of it is very hard and sharp. This could be broken glass, knives, or any other sharp objects that people throw away every day. Because these objects cannot see through the trash bags, sanitation workers are at risk of being cut at all times. Furthermore, the machinery of the truck itself has sharp edges that can easily cut through skin.
Despite there being stringent laws about chemical disposal, a significant portion of the population does not know them or ignore them. These chemicals are usually constricted to the trash bag, but if a bag is punctured for any reason, that chemical will come out. This type of exposure can put a worker in the hospital for weeks.
Any profession that involves driving is going to have some level of danger. For sanitation workers, that danger is two-fold. First, they can get into a car accident while driving their truck. Second, they can be hit while outside of their vehicle, as a pedestrian. While the first generally does not lead to severe injury, the latter can be fatal.
Blunt Force Trauma
Just like people throw away sharp objects, they also throw away heavy objects. If one of those objects falls from the compactor and hits a worker, they could be the victim of blunt force trauma. Additionally, they can be hit by the various moving parts of the truck.
Slip & Falls
Throughout their day, sanitation employees need to move around a lot. They get in and out of their truck and walk around slippery areas constantly. The result of this is an especially high number of slip and fall incidents.
Sanitation workers carry out a critical function in our society, but the job comes with many risks. Employees in this industry regularly suffer lacerations, exposure to chemicals, car accidents, blunt force trauma, and falls. If you are a sanitation worker who has been injured on the job, give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4300 for a FREE legal advice.