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Most dangerous jobs north of New York City

At the northern edge of the New York City metropolitan area sit Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties. This morning, an article in a newspaper there listed the area's most dangerous jobs.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the place most likely to have workplace injuries occur there is a garbage collection company.

The workplace data cited by the Times Herald-Record is from 2010 and comes from the federal government's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The Labor Department agency listed companies according to a statistical measurement called "Days Away, Restrictions and Transfers" (DART). The DART numbers reflect the days lost to workers who sustain on-the-job injuries, plus those injured who, as a result, have restricted duties or must transfer, according to a spokesperson for the federal government's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Though Interstate Waste Services in Chester was 2010's most dangerous place to work in the region with a DART rate of 34, its dreary status doesn't reflect the grim episode in June of 2011 when a worker, just 24 years old, was killed by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement vehicle as he walked across a street to pick up materials to be recycled.

The company was fined $6,000 by OSHA after the incident involving the dangerous practice known as "double-siding," when trash is collected by having workers repeatedly cross back and forth across streets.

New Hampton's Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Center was in second place on the list of dangerous workplaces. The facility's DART rate was 25; the industry average was just four.

Let's hope these businesses do what's needed to make their employees safer in 2012 and beyond.

Source: Times Herald-Record, "Area's most dangerous workplaces," July 5, 2012

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