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Sanitation Workers and Workers' Comp Claims: Everything You Need to Know

Sanitation workers perform one of the most dangerous and grueling jobs of all. Without them, cities and states would not be clean and healthy. In the Birmingham, Alabama area and elsewhere in the United States, sanitation workers can easily suffer injuries while doing their jobs. It’s important to understand how dangerous this job is and how workers’ compensation claims work for sanitation workers.

Sanitation Workers at Greater Risk for Injuries

As previously stated, sanitation workers perform a very dangerous job. As a result, they are at a much greater risk of sustaining injuries while performing their work duties. The following are some reasons why workers in this industry are at higher risk of injury:

  • Car accidents: Sanitation workers have to get off their trucks frequently while in traffic. Unfortunately, some nearby drivers may not take precautions while around the workers and may strike them with their vehicles. This can happen when the driver is speeding or fails to see a sanitation worker getting out of the truck, which can result in injuries.

  • Poor weather conditions: Regardless of the weather, a sanitation worker must do their job. They are required to work through all the seasons in heavy rain, extremely hot and humid weather, snow, sleet, and foggy conditions. As a result of having to work while exposed to all of these conditions, they can suffer a number of problems that can adversely affect their health.

  • Exposure to hazardous substances: Sanitation workers can easily suffer injuries and on-the-job illnesses due to being exposed to hazardous substances while working. If they are disposing of a bag that contains something that is toxic, they are at risk for numerous health issues.

  • Operating dangerous equipment: Sanitation workers are required to undergo extensive training for their jobs, but regardless, the equipment they work with is still very dangerous. If any component of the equipment is not working properly, it could malfunction and lead to very serious injuries to the worker.

  • Falling off the truck: Sanitation workers take turns riding on the back of their sanitation trucks while working. This is so they can more efficiently pick up and dispose of garbage. However, if the truck stops short or they jump off it too soon, it can result in an injury as they can easily fall.

  • Falls from spills: If a sanitation worker jumps off the back of a truck or even simply exits the truck from the driver’s or passenger’s side door and the ground is slick with water, ice or any other slippery substance, they can fall and suffer injuries.

Sanitation Workers and Workers’ Compensation

If a sanitation worker gets injured on the job or falls ill as a result of their work, they have the right to file for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation pays a portion of their wages and covers medical bills, ongoing treatment, and physical therapy. If you are a sanitation worker in Alabama who has suffered injuries or illnesses while on the job, you should immediately report it to your employer.

To assist with your claim, it’s a good idea to document everything that occurred in order to provide sufficient evidence. Unfortunately, many employers or their insurance companies try to avoid providing benefits to legitimately injured workers or downplay their conditions. That’s why it’s so crucial to retain all documentation regarding your workplace injury or illness.

It’s absolutely essential to see a doctor and get treatment as well as a diagnosis that can prove your claim. Your employer or the insurance company may require you to get a medical exam from a doctor of their choosing as well.

What Types of Injuries Qualify Sanitation Workers for Workers’ Comp?

There are many dangerous situations that sanitation workers face in their daily work life. Even when stringent safety measures are taken, it’s possible for workers to be exposed to toxic substances. Certain injuries are very common in sanitation workers that can result in workers’ compensation claims being filed. These injuries include the following:

  • Back injuries due to lifting heavy garbage cans

  • Repetitive motion injuries

  • Respiratory problems

  • Other injuries due to accidents with cars

If you are a sanitation worker in Alabama who has suffered an on-the-job injury or illness, it’s imperative to immediately report it to your employer. You should retain an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can assist you in preparing and filing your claim as well.

Don’t wait to contact Spellen Law with your case right away.

Call the experienced attorneys at Spellen Law today at (205) 820-9474 to discuss the details of your case.

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