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Operating a refuse compactor truck can present various safety concerns for the operator, other workers, pedestrians, and nearby vehicles and subsequently can result in injuries, and death as well as impact the financial stability of any waste management company.

Some of the safety concerns when operating a refuse compactor truck include:

#1. Crushing Injuries

The compactor mechanism in the refuse compactor truck poses a risk to workers who are loading waste into the hopper.  It is essential that workers are trained on how to manage waste during the operation of the compactor truck.

#2. Materials that can explode or cause damage.

Waste often includes a wide range of materials, including aerosol cans, compressed gas cylinders, propane tanks etc.  Even partially emptied containers can still contain flammable or explosive gasses that can ignite under pressure.

Asbestos, a common and hazardous building material, when compressed release fibres into the air which can cause respiratory problems and lead to serious health issues.

Chemicals, when crushed could cause leaks or spills that could further lead to environmental contamination and health risks to anyone who comes into contact with them.

Sharp objects, such as knives, needles and broken glass can be discarded in the waste and when compressed, increases the risk of injury to workers who handle them.

To mitigate this risk, workers must be trained to recognise hazardous materials and follow proper handling procedures, and regular maintenance and inspections of the compactor truck can help ensure that safety interlocks and other safety features of the truck are functioning properly.

#3. Reversing Accidents

When backing up the refuse compactor truck in reverse, there is a risk of the truck backing into workers, pedestrians, or nearby vehicles.  With limited visibility, it is essential to take extra precautions, such as:

Trained compactor drivers:

The compactor truck driver must be trained on proper reversing techniques and be equipped with knowledge and practical experience to ensure awareness and management of potential hazardous situations.

Using a spotter:

A designated spotter can guide the driver while reversing the truck.

The use of backup alarms, lights, mirrors, and cameras can also help prevent any accidents.

#4. Electrical Hazards

Refuse compactor trucks may pose electrical hazards to workers due to the presence of electrical systems and components on the refuse compactor truck.  These hazards can include being exposed to electric shock or burns if workers come into contact with live wires, hot or energized electrical components.  An electrical explosion can also occur if there is a fault in the electrical system, producing intense heat, light and sound that can cause injury or death to workers who are working, maintaining or repairing the compactor truck at any given time.

By ensuring that the compactor trucks’ system is properly maintained and inspected, wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and following the proper procedures that ensure that the electrical system is de-energized before any maintenance or repair work is performed will help to reduce electrical risks and injuries.

These are only 4 of many safety risks that present itself when operating a refuse compactor truck.  By implementing these measures, the risks of accidents are reduced and protect waste management operations.

600SA, refuse compactor truck supplier

At 600SA, we supply Orakci Refuge Compactor Trucks to municipal and waste management companies.  Contact us today to talk about our refuse truck options and how we may optimize and safeguard your operations and performance.

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