A new report from the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) is revealing rampant worker safety abuses that are leading to high rates of work injuries and fatalities. Who is at fault? According to the report, non-union commercial waste companies in New York.
While NYC residential waste is collected by workers employed by the City, businesses are forced to contract with these companies for removal of their garbage.
One sentence of the report stated that the companies “routinely violate legal (worker safety) requirements with impunity.” The report later goes on to say that the businesses “fail to provide the safe working conditions, training, equipment and oversight that are required by law.”
Contained in the report are eight (8) individual case studies of workplace injuries – including fatalities, amputations, and chemical exposure. In each of those cases, it was shown that the employer failed in their responsibilities to either reduce or eliminate the conditions that led to the injuries.
Other findings in the report, include:
- Commercial (for-profit) waste collection business tended to be less safe than local government agencies
- Commercial waste operations that routinely put their employees at risk may also be putting the public at risk through the same unsafe equipment and way of conducting business
- Waste business that already have records of serious injuries, fatalities or other OSHA violations have been allowed to remain in business and even have their licenses and permits renewed without consequence
Dangers Faced by Waste Workers
The job of a sanitation worker is seen nationally as among the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. In fact, they are 10 times more likely than the average worker to killed on the job. Among the many ways sanitation workers are injured on the job are:
- Repeatedly lifting heavy objects, which can lead to spinal injuries, hernias, etc.
- Routinely handling hazardous material that leads to infections, poisoning, respiratory damage, burns and more
- Dangerous objects like broken glass or metal blades that are often hidden beneath the garbage
- Being struck by other vehicles as they hang suspended from the sides of the garbage trucks
Injured on the Job? The Fitzgerald Law Firm Can Help You Get What’s Deserved
Our hearts and concerns go out to the waste workers here in the Empire State. Their jobs are indeed among the toughest in the nation, and steps need to be taken so that they have the proper training, equipment, and oversight.
If you’ve been injured on the job, you need to know that proper compensation may not be limited to receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Rather, you may also be able to recover fair compensation from the company you were/are employed by and manufacturers of any faulty equipment that may be involved.
Call the Fitzgerald Law Firm today at 800-323-9900 for a free consultation.