A worker from Centerville recently lost his leg in a Georgia work accident. It all happened just after 6 a.m. when a vehicle struck the back of a garbage truck, which he was riding on the back of, according to The Sun News. The accident took place on South Houston Lake Road just north of Thomson Road.The worker and the driver of the SUV that slammed into the back of the garbage truck were transported to Medical Center of Central Georgia. According to Centerville police Maj. Garrett Cooley, the worker’s leg was amputated at the scene of the accident after he was pinned between the two vehicles. The truck is owned by Centerville Sanitation, which is the private company that is contracted by the city of Centerville. Officers are investigating the accident.
Our Georgia workers’ compensation attorneys understand that solid waste collection continues to rank as the fifth most dangerous job in the state. This occupation produces an alarmingly high rate of fatalities every year. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 60 workers die in this field every year. Every year, the industry experienced more and more fatalities.
“NSWMA will be exploring the reasons for the increase in reported fatalities. NSWMA will redouble its efforts to prevent fatal accidents, including the release of an updated Safety Manual in 2012,” said David Biderman, the Safety Director for the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA).
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers these tips to workers who work in solid waste management and on garbage trucks:
-Employees should ride only in the vehicle’s cab or on the steps that have been specifically designed for riding.
-Employees should only ride on the steps when making short trips and when riding at a speed under 10 miles per hour.
-Stay in or on the vehicle until it has come to a complete stop.
-Drivers should make sure that there are no riders on the back of the truck when the vehicle is reversing, driving over 10 miles an hour or traveling farther than 0.2 miles.
-All riding steps should be slip-resistant surfaces.
-Riders should be provided with handles that can withstand 500 pounds.
-All vehicles should have warnings posted above or on the riding steps that remind riders of the safety rules.
-All vehicles should come with an audible warning device that sounds off when the vehicle is operating in reverse.
Additional safety tips from the National Solid Waste Management Association‘s (NSWMA) Manual of Recommended Safety Practices:
-Drivers and workers should keep visual contact with one another at all times, especially when backing up.
-Drivers should continuously check mirrors when reversing.
-Drivers should use the assistance of a spotter when backing up for help with blind spots.
-Drivers should use hand signals when reversing.
-Stop the truck if the spotter needs to move.
-Stop moving the vehicle if the spotter is lost.
-All workers should move away from the vehicle when it’s backing up.
Motorists are asked to be cautious when driving near these vehicles. Solid waste management workers face high risks for traffic-related accidents and passing motorists need to practice extreme caution when driving near.
If you or someone you love suffered a work injury or needs to file a disability claim in Atlanta or the surrounding areas, contact J. Franklin Burns, P.C., to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. For a free consultation call 1-404-920-4708 today.