According to a recent article in Salon, recycling plant jobs rank among the most dangerous in America, with widespread reports of safety violations and pay that doesn’t abide by minimum wage laws. Undocumented immigrants and temporary workers are often hired to sort trash. These workers may not know what their rights are, and if they are injured, they are more likely to suffer in silence, without fair compensation for their injuries.
If you’ve suffered a personal injury due to unsafe premises or unsafe working conditions, it is important to understand your rights. The Gumprecht Law Firm represents workers in Georgia who may have been injured due to another person’s negligence or carelessness.
Even as green industries are praised for protecting the environment, recycling plants fail to protect their workers. Garbage sorters perform unskilled work for as low as $55 a day, according to Salon. The industry employees heavy machinery, like forklifts, conveyer belts, cranes, and shredders or grinders. Because many workers are undocumented, recycling plants are less likely to train their workers or make their employees aware about their rights if they are hurt on the job.
There have been reports that workers at these plants are exposed to sharp edges, toxins, and carcinogens on a regular basis. Workers who handle recycled batteries were exposed to lead. In some cases, sorters aren’t offered protective gear, later putting their children and members of the community at risk of exposure to dangerous substances. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that recycling plants were 80 percent more likely to be cited during an inspection.
As recycling has become more ubiquitous, many recycling plants haven’t kept up with implementing basic safety features that could save lives. When people die on the job, companies are often levied minimal fines. At the end of the day, families and victims are left to defend themselves and hold companies accountable.
More families are seeking wrongful death lawsuits and personal injury settlements from companies responsible for their loved one’s injuries and deaths. According to Salon, one family received an award of $29.2 million for unsafe conditions at one of these plants.
According to the Nation, workers in the recycling industry are at risk of a variety of hazards including exposure to asbestos, syringe wounds, cuts from sharp objects, and other injuries as a result of working with industrial equipment. Workers can also get sick from inhaling toxins from waste that hasn’t been sorted. According to one report, as many as 7 in 10 recycling plant workers may suffer from injury or illness. These employees have even reported having to make their own tools to sort trash in order to prevent injury.
If you work in the recycling industry in Georgia, you do not have to suffer in silence. If you believe that safety protocols have not been followed or have been hurt on the job, a personal injury lawyer in Georgia may be able to assist you. The Gumprecht Law Firm is a team of lawyers committed to protecting your rights. We’re here for you. Call us today at 678-800-1050 or visit our website bartow.law.