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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: September 12, 2013 10:05 AM
From: Senator Jim Ferlo
To: All Senate members
Subject: Protecting Sanitation Workers
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation that would amend Title 75 (Vehicles) to increase the penalty for careless or reckless driving in the presence of a solid waste collection employee performing his or her duty. I was appalled to recently learn that solid waste collection employees have the fifth highest injury rate of any occupation. According to the United States Department of Labor the injury rate for solid waste collection employees in 2011 was 6.3 out 100 workers. Occupations such as security guard (1.7), coal mining (3.7), and highway construction (4.4) do not have nearly the amount of nonfatal injuries as solid waste collection workers. Additionally, my legislation would require solid waste collection vehicles to give a visual signal by means of flashing, rotating, or oscillating amber lights on their trucks so they can be seen by drivers traveling in both directions while they are in service.

Recently, Wisconsin and Alabama have joined Michigan (2008) to become the first three states to provide such protections to their solid waste collection workers. It is time for Pennsylvania to adopt similar protections as well.

It is my hope that these increased penalties and proper caution lighting will help us protect the workers of such a vital utility. Please join me in supporting this legislation.

Introduced as SB1120