Like those who work in other areas of solid waste management, North Carolina composting operations employees are at serious risk for injury due to the use of heavy machinery, the type of physical labor required and the dynamic work environment. As such, it is imperative that workers follow proper safety precautions when at work.
Solid waste and recycling collection is one of the most deadly jobs in the United States. While training can often focus on the science behind composting, odor managements and process control, safety is critical to keeping the plant up and running.
To help prevent serious accidents, updated workplace safety tips were developed as part of the Solid Waste Association of North America’s “Five to Stay Alive” campaign. These safety tips were provided to workers through flyers and posters. They addressed some of the most common dangers employees might encounter, including staying out of the danger zones around windrow turners and wearing appropriate respiratory protection. Other tips involve using good housekeeping skills to prevent workplace conditions that could cause an accident and using proper lock-out and tag-out procedures. The promotional materials and other safety resources are available in both English and Spanish.
While employee safety should always be a priority, there are companies who put more emphasis on the bottom line than on ensuring that employees are properly trained to do their job as safely as possible. If an employer fails to keep the workplace safe for employees or does not provide adequate training to prevent an injury, serious or even life-threatening injuries can occur. Workers who are injured on the job may be eligible to seek workers’ compensation benefits to cover some of the damages. An attorney may assist with filing the claim and may determine if the employee is eligible to seek additional compensation due to potential safety violations.