As a garbage collector, you perform a lot of strenuous tasks and come into contact with hazardous materials on a daily basis. Managing waste is an important job that no one should ever overlook. Every morning you wake up, you prepare yourself to perform duties that many other people are not willing to do.
Not only is your job often difficult, but it can put you in peril. Garbage collection is one of the top five most dangerous occupations in America. While you may already understand some aspects of your occupation that may injure you or get you sick, it is crucial to remain consistently aware of the hazards of your job. Here are some causes of illnesses and injuries in the sanitation field:
1. Heavy lifting
Your job requires you to handle and carry heavy objects regularly. Heavy lifting can result in back injuries, neck injuries and hernias. Make sure you practice ergonomic lifting techniques and get help from a coworker whenever possible.
2. Hazardous materials
Collecting trash means you encounter various types of hazardous and toxic materials multiple times per day. You may come into contact with:
- Hypodermic needles
- Human waste
This puts you at a significant risk of getting an infection or injury.
3. Motor vehicle accidents
Of course, if you drive a garbage truck, one risk is getting into an accident. Another vehicle may crash into your truck while you are simply trying to do your job. Not only that, but vehicles may crash into you as a pedestrian. You may get hit by a car while walking to collect trash.
4. Dangerous objects
You may handle harmful materials such as broken glass or metal blades. These items may cut you while you are moving or lifting garbage bags.
Refuse collection is serious and risky work. You may be able to get compensation if you sustain an injury while on the clock.