A skip bin seems so innocuous. It is simply a metal bin where you put rubbish and recyclable waste. But, if you and your employees do not take the proper precautions, the skip bin can become a real safety issue. It is important for all your employees to take care loading the skip bin and managing the area around it.
Keep Your Employees Safe: 8 Safety Tips for Skip Bins
Eight Safety Tips Your Employees Need to Follow Around Skip Bins
TIP #1: Put the heaviest items in the bottom
Have you ever packed a moving box? Try putting a couple of pillows in the bottom of a box, then adding some heavy books on top. The box becomes top heavy and could potentially fall over. It is difficult to manoeuvre and can make moving it difficult.
When you put the heaviest items on the top of the skip bin, the same thing can happen. As the bin gets loaded onto the truck, it can topple over. It can even topple over the truck in the process. This can lead to potentially fatal injuries to the truck driver and to people just standing close.
Always put the heaviest items on the bottom or at least towards the bottom of the skip bin.
TIP #2: Balance the light and heavy items
The same problem that happens with top loading the heavy items can happen if you put the heavy stuff to one side or the other. When loading a skip bin, the truck driver assumes the load is going to be fairly even. If the load is heavy to one side or the other, it can tip over the edge or even tip over the truck. It poses the same hazards as a skip that is top heavy.
You don’t need to have the load completely balance. However, heavy items should be distributed to all four sides of the bin to keep the load balanced.
TIP #3: Don’t try to crush the materials with your feet
It is a common practice to send someone into the bin to crush materials down so you can load the skip bin further. While it may seem like a good idea, it can actually lead to serious injury.
Take construction debris for example. Metal shards, pieces of glass and nails are just a few sharp items which can cut or lacerate the feet and legs. The injuries can be very serious. Just don’t ask an employee to do it.
TIP #4: Fill to the top of the bin only
By regulation, we cannot accept a load which is above the edge of the skip bin. Besides being illegal, an overflowing bin is also a safety hazard.
When loading an overfilled skip bin, part of the load could fall off, littering the site. It could also land on someone and cause serious injury. Even if the loading process is successful, the material on top will not be secure during transport. Debris, including bricks, stones, or pieces of wood could fly off the skip and hit a motorist.
TIP #5: Keep the area around the bin clear of debris
When your employees are loading a bin, be sure to keep stray pieces of debris and rubbish picked up. It is very easy on a busy work site for workers to not see pieces of debris on the ground while loading the bin. Stepping on a stray nail or piece of glass could lead to serious injury.
Make it a regular practice to police the area around the skip bin for stray debris. Actually, every employee who works in or around the bin should have this responsibility. Multiple sets of eyes can catch potential hazards than just one.
TIP #6: Do not put restricted materials in the bin
By regulation, certain materials cannot go into a skip bin. A partial list of these restricted materials include the following:
- Gas bottles
If you place any of these materials in the skip bin, we will not accept the load. Plus, we will have to report the issue, which could subject you to fines and other penalties. And, in addition to that, you will have to pay to have the materials removed properly and may have to pay to clean the bin.
Keep a list of the restricted materials on hand and be sure that none get placed into the bin.
TIP #7: Provide proper clearance for the skip
Many sites are restricted on space. However, it is very important for a skip bin to have proper clearance for delivery and loading. This will make the entire process much easier. It helps prevent accidental damage from occurring if the bin moves sideways unexpectedly.
Plus, clearance allows you and your employees to access all sides of the bin. That way, you can load it evenly and keep it properly balanced. It will get the most material in the bin, so you don’t need to have extra bins delivered.
TIP #8: Don’t smoke around the skip bin
Many materials placed in skip bins are potentially flammable. Dry wood, paper rubbish and wood-plastic composites are just a few examples of materials that could catch fire.
Make it a rule that no one is allowed to smoke within a certain distance of the skip bin. If smoking materials are being disposed of in the bin, make sure the materials are completely extinguished before putting it in. A good dose of water is one option and placing it in a closed flame-resistant container is another.
These tips will help keep your employees safe. They will also help you comply with legal requirements and environmental regulations. Don’t let your project get derailed due to non-compliance issues. Following some simple advice will help you keep the project moving forward.
If you need a skip bin for any size project, contact us here at Action Bins. We offer a range of skip bins in different sizes so that you only pay for the space you need.