Garbage and waste collectors may not receive the recognition they deserve for the crucial but perilous role they play in maintaining public health and environmental cleanliness. Their primary responsibility revolves around collecting, transporting, and disposing of waste materials, spanning residential, commercial, and industrial areas. These unsung heroes typically operate garbage trucks or specialized vehicles, ensuring that our communities remain clean and free from waste-related issues. However, the job of garbage and waste collectors is far from risk-free.
In the course of their daily work, they encounter a host of hazards. Exposure to potentially hazardous materials while handling waste is a significant concern, as it can pose health risks. Additionally, working amidst vehicular traffic exposes them to the danger of being struck by passing vehicles, particularly in bustling urban settings. The physical demands of their job involve lifting and carrying heavy loads, which can lead to musculoskeletal injuries due to repetitive motions and the strenuous nature of their tasks. Astonishingly, the fatal injury rate for these workers stands at 30 fatalities per 100,000 workers, underscoring the substantial risks they face regularly. The most common causes of injury and death in this profession include accidents involving vehicles, falls from trucks or other equipment, and musculoskeletal injuries resulting from heavy lifting.