Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers: Initiative to Reduce Sanitation Workers’ InjuriesSeptember 8, 2015
The Mayor of Baltimore has announced plans to purchase new trash cans for every Baltimore household in effort to reduce sanitation worker injuries and control the city’s rat population. The move was made in response to the overwhelming success of a pilot program launched last year that provided 9,000 trash cans to residents in the Belair-Edison and Mondawmin area.
The new 64-gallon trash cans can hold up to four regular-sized garbage bags and have two wheels along with a tight fitting lid. City garbage trucks will be retrofitted with lifts that will upend the receptacle, allowing the trash to slide out. This feature will reduce the amount of heavy lifting required of sanitation workers.
Trash collection is difficult and often dangerous work. A report issued by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health placed waste management workers in the top three job classifications to have the greatest risk of falling, and sixth in having the greatest number of fatalities in the service sector. The majority of deaths occur when a worker slips and falls from the truck and is subsequently run over by his own truck or hit by a passing vehicle.
Trash collectors were also two times more likely to suffer lost workday injuries than the average service sector worker. Traditional methods of trash collection require workers to retrieve garbage bags from the curb and throw them into the rear hopper of the truck. Workers frequently grab two to four bags at a time, and the weight of each bag can vary considerably. Repeated heavy lifting combined with awkward postures and other factors creates a high risk of injury to waste collection workers including back injuries and repetitive stress injuries.
Workers lifting plastic trash bags can also be injured by the contents of bags. Broken glass and other sharp objects can cause serious cuts and lacerations to the body as the unsuspecting worker lifts the bag. Another major concern is the risk of exposure to infectious diseases that results from improperly discarded syringes, dead animals and human and pet excrement. In some cases, workers are harmed by inhaling the fumes of illegally disposed chemical waste products and other toxic substances.
The new system is not without its own set of hazards, as workers could potentially be crushed by the moving metal arm. Baltimore officials are optimistic; however, that the reduction in heavy lifting will translate into fewer injured workers and a savings to the city in Workers’ Compensation payouts.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Obtain Maximum Compensation for Injured Sanitation Workers
Sanitation workers are a vital asset to our community. At LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, we are committed to serving those who do so much for us. If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, our Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers will fight to make sure you receive the maximum amount of compensation to help cover the costs of medical bills, time away from work and other losses. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay us nothing until we obtain money for you. To schedule your free consultation, call 844-556-4LAW (4529) today or contact us online.