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February 9, 2017 CT Green Guide

Bill aims to protect recycling workers

What’s the fifth most dangerous industry for workers?

According to federal data, it’s the waste and recycling sector, and now state lawmakers are aiming to do something about it.

A proposed bill in the legislature would require drivers to slow down or move over one lane when passing oil and gas delivery vehicles, garbage trucks and recycling trucks.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Mitch Bolinsky (R-Newtown).

It’s not yet clear what sorts of penalties the bill might eventually call for.

Connecticut would be the 13th state to create such a “Slow Down to Get Around,” according to the Connecticut chapter of the National Waste and Recycling Association, which supports the bill.

“This will save worker lives and prevent untold worker injuries and property damage,” NWRA CT chapter president Michael Paine said in a statement.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, refuse and recyclable material collectors had a fatal work injury rate of 33 per 100,000 full-time employees in 2015.

The highest fatality rates were in logging, at 132.7 deaths per 100,000.

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