Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sanitation work just got deadlier

Sanitation workers put their lives on the line every day. Rarely is that recognized.

But Waste & Recycling News reported recently that collecting trash and recyclables is not only dangerous, it's getting more dangerous:

One of America's most dangerous jobs, being a trash and recyclable collector, just got deadlier. 
On-the-job fatalities among trash and recycling collectors dramatically increased last year, making the job the fourth most dangerous in the land, according to statistics released minutes ago by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. 
The much-anticipated numbers show that 34 waste and recycling collectors died on the job in 2011. 
That compares with 26 such fatalities in 2010, according to the BLS.
When Local 117 claimed that four Puget Sound waste workers were killed on the job since 2005, the local newspaper felt the need to check that fact. (Local 117 was supporting striking workers.)  The Seattle Times then reported that five sanitation workers had been killed during that period.

(By the way, Waste Management just agreed to rebate Seattle residents $1.24 million because of the 8-day strike.)

And let's not forget that Martin Luther King, Jr., was killed in Memphis while supporting a sanitation workers' strike. And the strike was inspired by the deaths of two sanitation workers.