Trash production is on the rise. A recent analysis by Public Works Departments through the state of Wisconsin found a 20% increase in April’s trash production in Kenosha compared to the same time last year. Kenosha is not an outlier. Wauwatosa reports a 24.4% increase and Sheboygan reports a 19.5% increase.
Why is there so much more trash?
The increase in waste production demand for the Public Works Department is likely linked to the current coronavirus pandemic. More and more people are staying home. Instead of generating waste at the workplace, which often use private companies for waste disposal needs, people are generating trash at home.
Another reason for the increase: to help fill the extra time they have at home, people are taking on projects and cleaning out their homes. Both generate trash.
What does this mean for public works employees?
Although some cities throughout the state have shifted to automated garbage trucks, others have not. This means employees are lifting and tossing more and more bags of trash. This can lead to fatigue and serious injury such as herniated disks and torn rotator cuffs.
The same injury risk increase exists for municipalities that use private garbage/recycling companies. If an employee is injured while performing the duties of their job, workers’ compensation benefits should be available.
What if a worker is injured?
Workers’ compensation may be available for those injured while on-the-job.
Injured workers may need to navigate conversations with employers, insurance companies and doctors to get their claim approved. An attorney experienced in this area of the law can navigate these conversations and the application process on your behalf, better ensuring you get the compensation you are entitled.