Being a garbage collector is a physically demanding job that puts you at risk of an injury virtually every time you stop the truck and pick up a can or bag of trash. If the garbage you pick up is unexpectedly heavy, you could strain your back. If the bag were to contain something sharp, it could cut you as it passes by your body. Either type of injury can keep you away from work for an extended period of time. While an experienced workers' compensation attorney can help to ensure that you're fairly compensated during this absence, you may be eager to get back to work. Unfortunately, your days of collecting waste might be behind you because of a long-term injury. You and your attorney can work out an arrangement in which you move into one of these positions.
If you know the waste collection business well but your injury has prevented you from being able to lift trash for the foreseeable future, you may eventually be able to work in a different capacity. One role that might be suitable for you is that of a dispatcher. While this career change will obviously involve some training, you can excel in this new position because of your knowledge of what drivers are contending with while they're completing their routes. Your company will be eager to have you back from your leave and contributing, too.
It may be possible to move into a training role with your waste collection company. New drivers and waste collectors need training, and someone with your experience can be the right person to get them up to speed. While you'll need to approach this role with caution, you can talk to new hires about how to do their job well. You'll also be able to use your own story as a cautionary tale, hopefully to lower the risk of someone else suffering the same type of injury as you.
In many areas, the driver of the garbage truck gets out and collects the waste at the curb. However, there are areas in which the driver simply drives — and one or more colleagues collect the waste. While your recovery will need to be at a point that allows you to sit for long periods of time, you may be able to transition into the role of a driver. Talk about one of these roles with your attorney, and try to make it a part of your negotiations with your employer.
If you've been injured on the job, contact a law professional for workers compensation attorney services.