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Safety Tips for Waste Management Businesses

by Melanie Peterson

Waste management plays a significant role in achieving a clean and healthy environment. Unfortunately, waste management is increasingly becoming an uphill task for most businesses managing wastes. In fact, in 2017, solid waste management was ranked 5th most dangerous job in America. Therefore, as a waste management entrepreneur, learning safety tips for managing waste is vital for your company’s prosperity and success. Below are some tips you can follow.

Safety Tips for Waste Management Businesses

1. Always Equip Your Employees with Safety Protection Gears

Always provide your workers with the right gear as they discharge their duties. Understand the right outfit your team should use depending on the weather. Different weather conditions may demand various protective equipment. For instance, Hot weather; during hot weather conditions, light-colored long-sleeved clothing and a breathable vest with pockets are a better option for your workers. In addition, provide durable safety sunglasses with breathable gloves. You may also have a hat to top it up. Caps absorb sweat from covering the face.

Cold weather; ensure your garbage collecting team wears insulated gloves during winter. Also, visible layered clothing made of synthetic insulation. A vail warmer boots with the ability to navigate through the snow or ice.

Rainy weather; waterproof boots, reflective rain jacket, and extra dry clothes as substitutes.

2. Proper Inspection of Garbage Vehicles

Before departing to collect and manage garbage, your team should conduct a comprehensive pre-shift inspection of the company waste collection vehicles. The assessment reduces any chance of endangering your employees’ lives and ensures optimum truck performance.

While carrying out the inspection, the focus should be on the following areas:

  • Tires – because of the load, garbage truck tires wear out faster than typical vehicles.
  • Brakes – the inspection should be conducted regularly due to the regular stopovers made by the truck, which leads to wear and tear.
  • Hoist and lift systems
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Backup alert system
  • Windshield wipers
  • Engine fluids
  • Lights including hazard lights for proper visibility
  • First aid kit
  • Cameras where applicable.

A mechanical repair may be necessary in case of any faultiness in the above areas.

3. Employ Skilled and Trained Personnel

Skilled truck operators will help you minimize risks associated with reckless driving of the trucks. Getting a team who genuinely understands the waste collection truck operation adds safety to their working environment. In addition, having the right person for the right job will ensure smooth operations. For instance, you may need a skilled and trained team to use an alarm lift station monitoring system in wastewater management.

Again, in cases of truck operation, the team should guide each other in circumstances where the truck needs to be reversed. The driver should be under the guidance of a co-worker on the ground. Otherwise, operating the truck in reverse should be the last option. Such operations should be done without putting the lives of other drivers, animals, and children in danger.

4. Commit To Good Personal Hygiene

Ensuring a clean and safe working environment for your waste management business does not stop at providing appropriate protective gear to your team. Your employees should learn how to wear full PPE correctly, and in the unfortunate event of an accident, the injuries should be attended to as soon as they occur. The personal hygiene of your workers creates a safe working space.

Additionally, seek a doctor’s advice on whether to subject your employees to vaccination against tetanus or hepatitis. Also, train your team not to frequently touch their faces while at the operation site. You may also supply your workers with multiple sets of clothes to avoid reusing dirty clothes. The protective gear should be used separately from ordinary home garments.

5. Train Your Team On Good Physical Techniques

Having the right skills and knowledge on correctly handling waste bins and voluminous waste minimizes the chances of injury to your employees while on the job. Some of the techniques that your waste management team can adopt include,

  • While on the lift, keep your knees and back straight all the time.
  • Don’t carry the garbage upward; instead, roll the waste.
  • Nonetheless, use your two hands to carry the garbage if you must carry them
  • While carrying the waste, ensure your feet remain firmly on the ground.
  • Apply the use of throwing mechanisms to reduce the chances of strain injury
  • Take caution in the presence of unmarked sharp objects.

Ideally, learning and implementing the appropriate safety tips for your waste management business can impact your business positively. Creating a safe and conducive working environment boosts the productivity of your business. It gives your employees an opportunity to work in a less stressful environment and the morale to deliver on their mandate.

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