Most of us give little thought to trash.  We put it out for collection, but after that, it is out of sight, out of mind. Trash collection keeps many workers employed, however, and they depend upon that work to earn a living. Whether it is the employees who work in the offices, or the collectors who empty cans and dumpsters into the trucks, or the truck drivers themselves, it is big business.  Not glamorous work, but work nonetheless, and seemingly routine. There is a dangerous side to it, though, and as with any type of work that involves heavy machinery or vehicles, hazardous conditions often arise without warning. Recently, a local garbage truck driver was injured when he drove off an exit ramp and fell to a parking lot below. According to the story, he was thrown from the vehicle and suffered serious injuries. Several other vehicles were also damaged and the cause of the accident was not known.

What Constitutes Being ‘On The Job’ When You Drive For A Living?

Professional drivers’ – truck drivers, construction vehicle drivers, garbage truck drivers – workplace is the highway. If they are involved in an accident, therefore, workers’ compensation is usually going to be an issue. Employers are required to provide a safe working environment for their employees, but in the case of employees who drive for a living, the employer has limited control over the employee’s actual workplace. They can certainly control the vehicle itself, and take appropriate measures to ensure that the vehicles are safe, but road conditions or factors directly related to the employees themselves are likely beyond the employer’s control. Despite this, if the employee is injured during the scope of their employment, workers’ compensation is available to him or her for injuries sustained while on the job.

Dangerous ‘Workplaces’

The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that truck drivers, including those who are driver/salesmen, had a fatal injury rate greater than seven times higher than the overage average fatal injury rate for workplaces in general in one recent year. It is also noted that most nonfatal injuries were not the result of actual accidents, but instead, result from overexertion, slips and falls, and other factors. Recognizing the role that overexertion and fatigue plays in truck driver accidents, the government has begun to regulate the number of hours a truck driver may drive; this effort is intended to cut down on the number of tired drivers on the road, which is sure to improve safety ‘in the workplace’ for those who earn their living behind the wheel.

Contact A Legal Professional For Your Workers’ Compensation Needs

If you have been injured at work, whether your workplace is the open road or a more traditional work setting, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These may include money for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and in some cases, money for rehabilitation or vocational training. An experienced Miami workers’ compensation attorney will help you to understand what you are entitled to receive and will help you take the right steps towards getting what you deserve. Contact an attorney today for the help you need to get started.

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