A refuse collection vehicle or RCV is a heavyweight piece of equipment. For waste collection to be safe and efficient, it is important to effectively identify and manage the risks associated with its use. There are risks linked to the operation of the bin lift and hoist, as well as to vehicle handling and maintenance. Here are some of the ways waste collection operators ensure a secure and effective service, minimising the risk to the public and to waste operatives.

Understand and Avoid Common Causes of Injury

Refuse collection vehicles are safe and efficient when they are operated correctly, following the proper operational procedures. This includes the appropriate use of hoists and lifts. Common reasons for worker injury include falls, workers crushed by bins, and workers trapped in mechanisms. Waste collectors are at risk of injury from falling bins if the mechanisms that lift the bins fail, or if worker error results in a bin released from its hoist at the wrong time. Crush injuries may happen through the negligent use of equipment, including attempting to retrieve a fallen bin or to dislodge waste that has become trapped in the equipment. In all cases, workers should follow proper procedure in the event of a trapped bin, lost bin, or jammed machinery.

Carry Out Safety Assessments for Moving Bins and Vehicles

Work through step-by-step assessments of the risks related to moving bins and vehicles. These should include assessment of the risks of manually handling the bins, moving the bins on different surfaces, dealing with different weights of bins, managing bins in different weather conditions, and manoeuvring bins through narrow spaces. In addition, monitor the risks involved in handling the RCV in different conditions and with various hazards, including on busy streets or in places with limited visibility.

Provide Full Training

One of the main ways to reduce the risk of injury or malfunction of equipment is to provide full training to all workers, which is updated on a regular basis. Pay attention to the training of agency and temporary workers who may be unfamiliar with how the refuse vehicle works. Provide strict instructions for the safe operation of machinery and enforce consequences if a worker fails to comply with these.

Always Use A Vehicle That’s Fit For Purpose

When looking at refuse vehicles for sale, choose a vehicle and equipment that meet all needs and which can be operated efficiently in the correct manner. When requirements change, it is important to update a vehicle or machinery to suit the changed circumstances. Always check that a vehicle maintains its integrity and is fit for purpose by carrying out regular maintenance checks and tests. A well-maintained and fit for purpose RCV should be safe and efficient when it is operated correctly. By ensuring these correct procedures are followed, the risk of injury or damage to equipment is effectively minimised. This results in a safer and more productive workforce and waste collection service.

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