Louisiana workers may be shocked to learn that experts have found that recycling work is hazardous to workers' health. In fact, 17 recycling workers died around the country between 2011 and 2013 in workplace accidents. A recent study revealed that those who work in the recycling industry are twice as likely to suffer workplace injuries than people in other industries.
According to the study, part of the reason that recycling workers are more at risk is because of the unsafe working conditions and heavy machinery. Further, the workers are often exposed to hazardous items and materials that may have been picked up by recycling companies. For example, broken glass and needles often end up at recycling facilities where they could then hurt workers. Additionally, many of the employees are temporary and may not know their rights regarding working in a healthy and safe workplace.
The study's authors made several recommendations. First, local governments should require companies to have safety programs. Second, it is recommended that companies should stop the practice of hiring temporary workers. Finally, cities should have programs that teach households how to properly separate recyclables and how to minimize dangerous contaminants that could make their way to recycling facilities.
Employees who are injured on the job may be eligible to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits to cover the costs of medical care and treatment. In some cases, benefits may also include a percentage of wages that were lost while the worker was unable to return to his or her job. Many workers find the assistance of a workers' compensation attorney to be helpful during this process.