CSEA was successful in advancing several bills which passed both houses of the state legislature this session including a bill (S.426B – Marcellino/A.7763B – DenDekker) which adds vehicles operated by sanitation and recycling workers to the state’s “Move Over” law.
Motorists are required to move over and slow down significantly when passing refuse trucks, giving the same treatment as vehicles with flashing red/blue or amber lights. The bill has been signed by the Governor and went into effect 11/1/16.
While all U.S. states have “move over” laws, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina are among the relatively few states with such laws that cover sanitation and recycling vehicles.
This bill represents just one goal in our new sanitation safety campaign, “Slow Down to Get Around.” CSEA has been working with our allies, including other waste industry organizations, to fight for the passage of this legislation.
Even though this is now the law, our work is far from done.
Thousands of our members work in the sanitation industry, which is among the most dangerous work that public employees perform. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2014 — the latest year statistics were available — sanitation workers had a fatality rate of 33 per 100,000 workers, the fifth most fatal occupation that year.
Closer to home, three CSEA members — Long Island Region members Steven Giacobello and Jarred Newallo and Southern Region member Nick Farella — all lost their lives since 2013 while performing sanitation work.
In addition to the legislation, the campaign aims to boost potential hazard awareness for those employed in sanitation, increase public awareness of the dangers that face sanitation workers and increase the state Public Employee Safety and Health (PESH) Bureau’s enforcement of sanitation standards.
“We will never quit our fight to protect our members on the job,” CSEA President Danny Donohue said.