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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    Potential claims for rubbish collectors


    According to the Health & Safety Executive publication ‘Safe waste and recycling collection services’, the largest proportion of waste and recycling industry accidents at work are accounted for by activities within collection services.

    Claims for rubbish collectors

    Potential risks likely to result in work accidents warranting claims for rubbish collectors include:

    • Route or location-specific hazards
    • Manual handling risks
    • Vehicle-related risks
    • Exposure to excessive noise
    • Exposure to potentially harmful substances or injury by sharps
    • Slips, trips and falls

    Route or location-specific hazards

    These hazards may be permanent, variable, occasional or unpredictable. Permanent hazards may consist of:

    • Blind bends, overhead obstructions or concealed entrances
    • Steps or stairways
    • Poor or loose surfaces
    • Poor lighting
    • Single or double-sided collection
    • Widths of roads
    • Adverse cambers and inclines
    • Structures reducing visibility

    Variable or occasional hazards may include:

    • High-risk pedestrian areas (community centres, schools, etc.)
    • Rush hour traffic (speed and usage of roads)
    • Working on or crossing highways
    • Road works
    • Reversing
    • Parked vehicles
    • Violence towards collectors or aggressive dogs

    Unpredictable hazards include:

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    • High winds, rain or mud
    • Snow and ice
    • Local floods
    • Poor visibility due to fog

    Manual handling risks

    Manual handling accidents resulting in claims for rubbish collectors may be caused by collectors incorrectly lifting or attempting to lift excessive loads.

    Vehicle-related risks

    Mechanical breakdowns or failure of safety-related features on vehicles can also be responsible for work-related injuries leading to claims for rubbish collectors.

    Noise, harmful substances and sharps

    Exposure to excessive noise (especially during glass collections), harmful substances (including, among others, rotting food, faeces, blood-contaminated materials and/or a variety of household chemicals) and sharps (broken glass, needles, knives or fragments of metal, for instance) represent both health hazards and risks of accidental injuries to rubbish collectors.

    Employers and the law

    Health and safety laws require employers to assess all potential risks to employees and take the necessary steps to prevent collectors from being injured at work. This includes:

    • Providing training in correct manual handling procedures
    • Ensuring collection crews and drivers have the ability to deal with changing conditions
    • Providing personal protective equipment (ear protectors, gloves, high-visibility vests, protective boots, etc.)
    • Keeping vehicles and safety equipment in good working order

    Information on route-specific risks and how to deal with them must also be provided.

    Accident Advice Helpline

    If you were injured while collecting rubbish because your employer failed to protect you, you could be entitled to industrial injury compensation. Call us on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 (from your mobile) now to learn more.

    Date Published: December 9, 2015

    Author: David Brown

    Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading style of Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited. Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 142 8192 16, registered office Dempster Building, Atlantic Way, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool, L3 4UU and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Disclaimer: This website contains content contributed by third parties, therefore any opinions, comments or other information expressed on this site that do not relate to the business of AAHDL or its associated companies should be understood as neither being held or endorsed by this business.

    No-Win No-Fee: *Subject to insurance costs. Fee payable if case not pursued at client's request.