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NWRA serious about workplace safety for sanitation workers

In view of the high number of injuries and deaths of workers in the waste removal industry, the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) is pushing state legislators to adopt the Slow Down to Get Around proposal. While some states have already passed such legislation, the association is confident that other states, including Missouri, will soon approve bills that will promote workplace safety for waste removal workers. The association asserts that many lives are lost due to the reckless driving of other motorists.

NWRA aims to get state laws related to the protection of roadside workers expanded, in order to include those involved in sanitation, waste removal and recycling. Many of the accidents that cause injury or worse to NWRA workers occur when motorists pass stationary sanitation trucks without slowing down or exercising due care. The dangers to workers who may be present on the roadway around the truck are often disregarded. The Slow Down to Get Around proposal requires drivers to reduce their speeds to 10 mph slower than the prevailing speed limit when passing such a vehicle.

While this action may lessen the number of injuries and fatalities currently causing concern, employers remain responsible for the safety of their workers. There are various steps that can be taken to avoid unnecessary accidents, and company owners should ensure that all workers are aware of the dangers they face. Adequate safety training should be provided, along with reflective clothing to make workers more visible to drivers in all weather conditions.

The spouses and dependents of NWRA workers in Missouri should not be denied the love of parents or partners because safety regulations were violated. When workplace safety is compromised and a worker is injured or killed, the workers' compensation insurance fund will typically provide a level of compensation. Some injured workers and grieving families choose to consult with experienced workers' compensation attorneys who can explain their rights and handle the claims on their behalves.

Source: waste360.com, "A Commitment to Safety in Our Industry", Sharon Kneiss, March 6, 2015

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