Waste management jobs for many decades have been one of the highest injury and fatality careers in the U.S. and usually ranked in the top ten of all occupations. Although strides have been made in recent years to make garbage trucks safer, many people still die each year in garbage truck accidents.
Garbage Truck Accidents: High Fatality Rate For Motorists & Waste Management Employees Alike
Garbage truck workers were ranked 7th in the U.S. by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in dangerous occupations for 2010. This statistic was based on fatalities on the job, with waste management coming in with 26th in 2010. Most of these casualties happened while working on the garage trucks. Some of the accidents that ended in death for workers included:
- Over half of the fatalities were due to transportation accidents
- Eight deaths in 2010 happened on the highway
- Six deaths were caused by objects or equipment
The fatality rate was 29.8 per 100,000 workers in waste management for the year 2010. Although this has been reduced from only a few years prior, it is still one of the highest rates in any occupation.
Chicago, IL Garbage Truck Worker Injuries
There are even more injuries than fatalities in waste management accidents each year. For 2010, garbage workers were ranked 4th out of all occupations involving on the job injuries. Some of these injuries caused permanent damage and disabilities. Some common types of garbage truck injuries are:
- Lacerations. The most common type of injury is cuts or lacerations, many caused by moving equipment on the trucks or being struck by falling objects.
- Struck-by accidents. Garbage truck workers can be struck-by the garbage truck when backing up or by other vehicles on the road.
- Struck-against. Crushing accidents can occur when limbs or appendages get caught in the moving parts on a garbage truck.
Garbage Truck Safety
Improvements have been made over the years in garbage truck safety, including more automated pickup procedures that reduce garbage truck workers being exposed to hazards. However, there are still many dangers that garbage truck workers and passing pedestrians face. To increase safety, the Division of Occupational Safety & Health recommends:
- Always use reflective and protective gear when working on garbage trucks
- Stand to the side of the vehicle when compacting the trash
- Use safety lockout or tag out procedures when entering the compacting area. Equipment needs to be turned off completely to ensure that employees are not in danger of being crushed.
- Create a pedestrian-free zone while trucks are operating
- Truck operators should stop if other workers or pedestrians are not in view
Due to the heavy equipment used on garbage trucks, operators need to apply caution to protect workers and pedestrians passing by from the dangers.Garbage Truck Injury Lawsuits
If you have been injured while working on a garbage truck or as an innocent by-stander, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Garbage truck accidents can be hazardous, causing injuries that require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, loss of work and even death. Anyone hurt from exposure to the dangers of these trucks will need legal advice and representation to receive the financial compensation they deserve.
The garbage truck accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are experienced in handling complex injury cases involving dangerous work equipment such as garbage trucks. We invite you to discuss your situation with us free of charge to explore what options are available when using a skilled lawyer who has help people like you in Chicago truck accident lawsuits. Contact us today!
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