If you live in Colorado and work in the waste or recycling industry, you might be more vulnerable to an on-the-job injury than people in many other occupations. A 2019 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the sixth deadliest job in the country was that of collectors in waste and recycling. This was actually slightly better than previous years when it was in fifth place.
Fatalities in related industries
Also in 2019, 43 workers in solid waste collection died. At material recovery facilities, there were three deaths. The Solid Waste Association of North American reported 11 fatalities at landfills in its 2019 report.
Dangers to recycling workers
One of several dangers workers face is from motorists when workers are getting on and off collection vehicles. Other dangers include injuries from machines and injuries from lifting or slip and fall accidents.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has guidelines and rules for safety that employers are supposed to follow. Employers are obligated to take steps to keep their employees safe. Most workers who are injured on the job are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, which can help cover the costs of medical expenses. In general, workers are eligible regardless of who is at fault in the accident.
However, some workers may face obstacles. Their employers may discourage them from filing although employers are not supposed to retaliate against employees who file for workers’ compensation. If you are injured on the job, you may want to contact an attorney to assist you in preparing the correct paperwork and following the right procedures. An attorney might also be able to help if you need to appeal or if you are having issues with your employer as a result of filing.