Garbage collection workers face many injury risks every day

Perhaps the phrase, "it's a dirty job but somebody's got to do it," came about solely for the workers who toil in the nation's solid waste management industry. The phrase certainly fits because these employees face many dirty and dangerous hazards each day.

Most people take garbage collectors for granted and are just happy to see their refuse taken away from the curbside. However, those who work in this field are all too aware of the risks. Workers' compensation will provide trash collectors with benefits if an occupational disease or injury occurs, but what exactly are some of these risks. Remaining informed about them can help you avoid a dangerous incident altogether.

According to a 2017 report, these health and wellbeing hazards include the following.

  • Physical exertion from lifting, bending, walking and running can lead to back problems, broken bones and other injuries.
  • Exposure to weather extremes like intense heat and bitter cold can result in illnesses.
  • Collectors can suffer severe injury or death if a motor vehicle strikes them while they are on duty.
  • Exposure to materials such as broken glass, chemicals, used hypodermic needles and other types of hazardous waste often cause illness or injury.

The next time you see Omaha's waste management workers doing their job, consider giving them a smile or a nod of gratitude. If you work in this industry yourself, remember that you have the right to as safe a work environment as possible. You also have the right to report any incident that results in an injury or a work-related illness.

To those who experience difficulty filing a workers' compensation claim, please take your case to an attorney who can help you acquire the benefits you deserve. Doing so can ensure that any wages lost as a result of your injury are replaced and that you are able to get the medical care necessary for your recovery.

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