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Workplace injury is common among Oklahoma trash collectors

A new law in Oklahoma for the protection of trash collectors takes effect November 1. Collection workers petitioned for this law soon after legislation passed banning texting and driving, and they hope the new provisions will prevent workplace injury. The workers felt they needed more protection than the yellow vests they wear on the job.

Census data from 2014 shows that more trash collectors died on the job than police or firefighters. Most of the deaths and injuries occurred when workers were hit by other vehicles, and many of the drivers of those vehicles were using a cell phone at the time. The Solid Waste Association of North America launched a national campaign urging drivers to slow down as they pass trash trucks.

In addition to that campaign, the new law allows trash collecting vehicles to use flashing lights similar to those used by emergency vehicles. The hope is that such lights will alert drivers to be cautious. The law also allows police to ticket a driver who does not slow down when passing a trash truck.

Across the country, one garbage hauler is killed on the job every week, and others are injured. Families who lose loved ones on the job may be left to struggle on their own. Workers in Oklahoma who suffer workplace injury may feel frustrated if they are no longer able to do their jobs to support their families. Many decide to contact an attorney to make sure their rights are protected and they receive the compensation they deserve.

Source:, "'Slow Down to Get Around' promotes caution around trash collectors", Joy Hampton, July 23, 2016

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