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Man Dies in New York Garbage Truck Accident

Published July 26, 2012 by Scott Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney

Earlier this month a New York man died as he worked his trash collection route. According to news reports, the man was apparently “pinned under or between parts of the machinery” that picks garbage up and dumps it into the truck. Unfortunately, work accidents like this happen too frequently and are often preventable.

On July 2, the California Department of Industrial Relations’ (DIR) Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) cited EDCO Waste and Recycling Services Inc., over $100,000 for safety violations. The citations were levied following investigation of a worker who suffered “crushing injuries” from a compacting truck. Cal/OSHA reported the company had previously been cited for the same problems that led to this recent worker’s injury.

“EDCO Waste and Recycling Services Inc. failed to provide vital safety training, leading to dangerous accidents and serious injury,” said DIR Director Christine Baker. “Proper workplace safety training is critical because it reduces severity of harm following accidents and, more importantly, prevents accidents from occurring in the first place.”

According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trash collection workers face a variety of hazards in their job. OSHA reports that just 15 years ago refuse collection was identified as one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. While safety improvements have been made, however, the job still poses serious dangers.

OSHA issued a safety and health information bulletin regarding crushing hazards associated with dumpsters and rear-loading trash trucks. In the bulletin, OSHA offers the following recommendations to help prevent dangerous accidents:

  1. Inspect all devices used to tip up and empty dumpsters into rear-loading trucks, including the trunnion bar locking mechanism, wire rope and hooks with safety latches, to assure that the devices are present, appropriately connected, and in full-working order.
  2. Develop a training program and procedures regarding the use of securing devices when emptying dumpsters into rear-loading trash trucks. Train all employees to cycle the compactor only when the dumpster is on the ground.
  3. Review and follow recommendations found in “ANSI Standard Z245.1-1999 American National Standard for Equipment Technology and Operations for Wastes and Recyclable Materials-Mobile Wastes and Recyclable Materials Collection, Transportation, and Compaction Equipment Safety Requirements.”

Our Binghamton workplace accident attorneys encourage all workers to acquaint themselves with proper vehicle and machinery operating procedures. In addition, we encourage all business owners to ensure all equipment is in safe, working order at all times.

If you have been seriously injured, or a loved has died, in an accident while on-the-job, you should contact a NY personal injury attorney to understand your legal rights.

About Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney

Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney, handles all types of personal injury and motor vehicle accident cases, including cases involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles and boats. The firm also represents clients in actions for wrongful death, cancer misdiagnosis, dog bites, hunting accidents, birth injuries, brain injuries, construction accidents, fall down injuries and insurance settlements. The firm regularly employs accident reconstruction experts, investigators, photographers and economists to assist in evaluating and preparing personal injury cases. In 2008, the firm reached the $100-million mark in combined lifetime verdicts and settlements.

The firm features offices in Binghamton, Elmira, Rochester, Syracuse and Watertown. For more information, call (800) Talk-Law or use the firm’s online contact form.

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