Waste management workers are an important component of our functioning society. When we throw away our garbage or thoughtfully recycle glass, paper and plastic, we don't often consider those who dispose of these items in a more final way. However, their attention to the items we rid ourselves of enables us to have a cleaner, more organized world.
Unfortunately, waste management is not a terribly safe industry. In fact, so many waste and recycling management employees suffer wrongful death while on the job that this industry is currently among the top five deadliest in the United States. Only loggers, commercial fisherman and airline pilots die on the job in higher percentages, according the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In 2013, thirty-four waste management workers perished due to injuries sustained while on the job. This number represents a significant jump percentage-wise from the twenty-six industry workers who were killed on the job in 2012 and the twenty who were killed in 2011.
The National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) safety director has responded to the release of these statistics by saying that the NSWMA "...as an association and as an industry, [will] examine what we're doing on safety and determine whether it's sufficient to serve this industry."
These recent statistics indicate that waste management workers are ten times more likely to die on the job than the average worker here in the United States. This rate is clearly unacceptable. Hopefully the waste and recycling industry will carefully study what is contributing to the uptick in fatal injuries among workers and spend the necessary time, energy and resources to resolve these issues. If you have been hurt or have lost someone who worked in waste management, call the wrongful death and workers' compensation attorneys at Dugan & Associates today at 888-99-DUGAN.