In New Jersey, garbage collectors are seen so frequently that it is easy to forget what an important role they play in a functioning municipality. It can also be forgotten how dangerous their work can be. Sanitation workers who are injured when collecting trash should understand the importance of workers’ compensation.
Garbage collectors face certain dangers on the job
The basic requirements of the job place garbage collectors in jeopardy. Any loss of income and medical costs can be the catalyst for long-term problems. When the trash is collected, it is necessary to lift objects varying in weight. Some are enormously heavy and cumbersome to move. This can lead to back injuries, pulled muscles and other damage.
Hazardous material can also cause burns, infections and illness. People sometimes throw sharp objects in the trash without regard to the garbage collector’s safety. This might be a broken mirror, knives, glass, needles and pieces of metal that pierces the bag and cuts or punctures the worker.
Rats, mice and roaches are often in the trash. These rodents can bite workers and spread disease. Collecting trash requires traveling in a large truck on the city streets and roads. Sanitation truck drivers and collectors must navigate vehicles that are driving at excessive speeds, are reckless or are trying to get past the slow-moving truck. Getting hit by a motor vehicle while on the job causes many sanitation worker injuries. After an accident, workers’ compensation benefits could be essential to making ends meet and getting the necessary medical care.
Sanitation workers should know their risks and options after an accident
Whether a garbage collector has minor, moderate or severe injuries, it is imperative to understand the benefits that are available through workers’ compensation. These can provide for a person on a temporary or permanent basis as well as help with medical costs. Gathering evidence and following the protocol when filing a claim are critical. Disputes as to the extent of the injuries are also common. An attorney might be able to provide guidance.