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Study reveals the high risks of recycling work

A recent study into workplace injuries reveals that workers in the recycling industry in New Jersey and around the country are involved in accidents while on the job more than twice as often as other American workers. The study was compiled by environmental and safety experts working with researchers from the University of Illinois. While the study concluded that the amount of heavy equipment used at recycling facilities contributed significantly to the accident rates observed, researchers pointed out a number of steps that could be taken to improve worker safety.

The researchers observed that many accidents at recycling facilities occur near the sort line. The study concluded that consumers could reduce the frequency of these accidents by being more careful when placing potentially hazardous items, such as broken glass or sharp metal, into recycling bins. The researchers also recommended that local authorities step up their inspection efforts to ensure that recycling facilities are in compliance with state and federal safety regulations.

The researchers also noted that many recycling workers are hired on a temporary basis and are sometimes not adequately trained to operate heavy machinery or protect themselves from injury on the sort line. Temporary workers may also be less aware of their legal rights and unfamiliar with the regulations that have been put in place to help ensure their safety.

Workers in New Jersey who suffer an accident or develop an illness while on the job may be eligible to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. While the process is not intended to be adversarial, employers may sometimes contest the claims due to concerns about rising insurance premiums. An attorney with experience in this area could advocate on behalf of injured workers when their employers claim that the injuries did not occur on the job or if they question the necessity of the medical treatment the workers are receiving.

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