According to a study done in collaboration with the University of Illinois School of Public Health, recycling workers face unnecessarily safety risks at work. From 2011 to 2013, 17 recycling workers died around the country, and on average, they are twice as likely as other workers to suffer an injury on the job. The study found that workers in this field contend with safety issues related to the use of heavy machinery. They are also likely to interact with toxic chemicals and hypodermic needles.
One problem highlighted by the study was that many workers in the field are temporary workers. As such, they are less likely to understand their rights and may have fewer protections than full-time workers may have. Therefore, one of the recommendations made by researchers was to eliminate temporary workers to ensure a safer working environment.