Refuse collection is one of the most hazardous jobs in the United States. Refuse and toxic waste are major sources of pollution that could cause serious personal injury disease if not properly disposed of. The job of a sanitation worker is to protect society from the dangers associated with waste. Because they deal with hazardous materials every time that they are on the job, sanitation workers put themselves at risk for serious personal injury from exposure on a daily basis. Through technology and training, substantial efforts have been made in the waste industry to make such work safer. Nonetheless, sanitation workers are among the top 10 most dangerous occupations, according to the cable news network.
Sanitation workers can be injured in a variety of ways. Refuse collectors are hit by impatient drivers trying to bypass a garbage truck. Defective equipment can cause unsafe working conditions. Refuse trucks that have mechanical problems cause injury to its operators, resulting in cuts, severed limbs, and other serious personal injuries or wrongful death. Operators standing in the rear platform can fall off the back of the truck and even be run over while it is in motion. Clean up and collection crews can also sustain personal injuries from slipping, tripping, or falling on debris, oil or other chemicals. In addition, hazardous chemicals can cause serious burn injuries if they are not handled properly. Finally, sanitation garages are not maintained in safe conditions. Oil and substances may collect on garage floors and defective floors might not be repaired when they should.