Throughout the workforces of the nation, some jobs pose more of a hazard and danger to employees than others. A recent study suggests that workplace accidents occur two times more often among those who work in recycling centers than in the average workplace elsewhere. California recycling workers might want to take note of information offered in the study.
A task force that included researchers from a university of public health and members from a department that focuses on environmental and community safety issues conducted a study that seems to suggest that recycling work is unnecessarily dangerous. Statistics show that there were close to 20 deaths in the United States among recycling workers on the job between 2011 and 2013. The results of the study show a rate of injury among recycling workers that is twice as high as the injury rate for the average worker throughout the nation.
Those who conducted the study included recommendations to cities for ensuring the safety of those who work in recycling centers. An executive from the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health stated that preventative measures must be taken to protect worker safety by educating employees and encouraging them to use procedures that have been proved to reduce exposure to many of the hazards present in the recycling workplace. Some say that part of the problem is that recycling work is often done by hired temporary workers who are not well-protected and lack understanding of their right to reasonably expect safe working conditions on the job.
Recycling workers are regularly exposed to hypodermic needles, toxic chemicals and animal carcasses, causing serious potential hazards to each employee. Heavy machinery also increases the risk of injury as was noted after a Florida accident where a worker was crushed to death in a cardboard compactor. California recycling workers might wish to seek legal counsel if they have been injured in workplace accidents or have questions or concerns regarding their legal rights concerning safety in the workplace. Workers' compensation benefits are typically payable for on-the-job injuries and cover medical expenses as well as offer an income package to address missed time from work while recovering from a workplace injury.
Source: recyclingtoday.com, "Report indicates recycling workers injured at twice the rate of average workers", June 23, 2015