Employees of sanitation companies have to cope with unique hazards in their industry. As in any other occupation in New Jersey, employers must ensure that workers are aware of the dangers of their jobs, and they must provide frequent safety training to prevent complacency. This might have played a role in a work accident involving a garbage truck that recently claimed the life of an employee.
According to a police spokesperson, the incident occurred shortly before 1:30 p.m. on a recent Thursday at the headquarters of a New Jersey sanitation company. Reportedly, the 56-year-old employee had his back turned to a garbage truck that was backing up toward him. The operator of the truck -- also an employee of the same company -- failed to notice the worker and knocked him down, causing fatal injuries.
The incident is being investigated by the prosecutor's office and the local police department, although these officials say negligence and speed are not suspected to have caused this accident. However, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched a separate investigation to determine the cause of this man's death. The general compliance with safety regulations at the company will also be examined.
Whenever a work accident claims the life of an employee, the surviving family members will likely not be prepared for the unanticipated financial consequences. Not only will they have to cope with the expenses related to end-of-life arrangements but also the sudden loss of income. Fortunately, death benefits can be claimed from the employer's insurer to cover these losses, and the help of an experienced workers' compensation attorney is available to ease the process.
Source: nj.com, "N.J. sanitation worker fatally struck by garbage truck, cops say", Patrick Villanova, Oct. 10, 2017