Garbage and recycling trucks are some of the most dangerous vehicles on the roads of Georgia. These are very heavy vehicles with blind spots. Although they seldom travel at high speeds, they can be deadly on residential streets. Police are investigating a fatal garbage truck accident at the end of 2018.

A Floyd County inmate lost his life on Dec. 26 in a garbage truck accident, Cartersville Patch reported.

The Georgia State Patrol launched an investigation after the accident on Church Street near Jones Street. Patch reported two inmates were riding on a city of Cartersville garbage truck as it backed down Church Street from Jones Street.

Georgia State Patrol reported the driver ran off the road while backing up and struck a utility pole on the right side.

A 43-year-old inmate ended up pinned between the truck and the pole. He suffered serious injuries and died later at Cartersville Medical Center.

The deceased inmate was later identified as Lester Robert Baker. Sadly, it appears the inmate was taking part in a program to help him transition to life after prison.

The Rome News-Tribune reported the Floyd County Prison inmate volunteered to take part in the sanitation detail in Cartersville “to help pick up all the post-Christmas garbage.”

Fatal Garbage Truck Accident in Georgia Highlights the Hazards

Prison warden Mike Long told the News-Tribune, Baker was transitioning into the prison’s work-release program. The program helps inmates successfully reenter society after serving time.

Garbage trucks pose dangers both to sanitation workers and other drivers and pedestrians on the streets. Last year, Safety and Health magazine reported on the occupational dangers of garbage and recycling collections.

It noted seven sanitation workers lost their lives in the first 10 days of 2018 alone.

Trash collectors had the fifth highest death rate among civilian occupations in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Garbage workers face a fatality risk nearly 10 times higher than workers in all other U.S. industries.

As well as deaths and serious injuries, these workers suffer sprains, sprains, and overexertion injuries. They handle heavy loads, suffering back injuries, and may be exposed to dangerous chemicals and other substances in their line of work.

Many injuries and deaths occur when garbage workers ride in the wrong places. They should ride only in the vehicle’s cab or on steps specifically designed for riding on.

Even at low speeds, sanitation workers can suffer horrendous crush injuries. Truck drivers and operators face a hazardous job in Georgia.

If you have been hurt while working on a trash truck or in an accident with a garbage truck, please call the Law Office of Michael West at (404) 913-1529.