A Town of Oyster Bay Department of Sanitation worker died after a car struck him in Oyster Bay, New York reported the Glen Cove, NY Patch (9.23.13).
Worker Steven Giacobello, 45, had just finished emptying trash containers into the truck’s compactor when he was struck by a 2007 Mini-Cooper. He was near the driver’s side of the truck when he was hit by the car.
Giacobello suffered severe head trauma and died shortly after arriving at the hospital.
It is believed that the 25-year-old woman driving the car may have been blinded by sunlight as she drove past the garbage truck.
A dangerous job with numerous accident injuries and fatalities
In 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) ranked solid waste and recycling collection as one of the most dangerous jobs in America. This accident highlights the danger that sanitation workers face every day from cars, trucks and other vehicles.
According to a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) fact sheet on the solid waste industry, there were an average of 85 occupational fatalities each year between 2003 and 2009, the most recent data available. Accidents involving cars and trucks were the leading cause of death.
In addition to worrying about vehicles, sanitation workers also need to worry about dangerous equipment, including lifting arms and compactors, as well as hazardous materials and fall accidents that come from entering or exiting the large sanitation trucks.