Waste collection has always been a more injury-prone occupation than most. In both fatal and non-fatal accident categories, refuse collectors are at high risk. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows many of the fatal accidents being caused by transportation - either passing cars, other work vehicles, or their own refuse trucks. Slips, falls, and trips also occur with regularity, along with cuts and lacerations.
Safety equipment is critical for these workers, and is most often supplied by their employers. Waste management employers know the keeping workers safe is a great way to safe money. But as anyone involved with safety can tell you, it's the equipment that is worn and used regularly that has the best chance of protecting a worker. Here is our list of products that keep garbagemen and women safest.
One of the most common problems for garbage collectors is lower back strain. One container may be empty while the next is filled with concrete. A Back Support Body Belt is a great way to keep people healthy. If you've ever had back problems you know how debilitating they can be.
Lacerations typically occur on hands and arms. When buying gloves, make sure to look for cut resistance. One model to consider is the Ansell Hyflex CR 11-500. These gloves are made with DuPont Kevlar and Spandex for comfort and cut protection. They also provide a good grip on slippery surfaces, even those with a slight oil coating.
Seeing is great. Being seen is sometimes even better. Many garbage collectors work early morning shifts where lack of light, or early morning light make being seen by passing motorists and people pulling out of their driveways a serious problem. Reflective vests make it much easier for sleepy morning drivers and other work vehicles to see you as you move about your work.
Finally, hearing problems arising from noisy work sites and equipment are common among waste workers. Disposable and reusable earplugs are an inexpensive solution to this problem. Disposable earplugs are more popular because they often get dirty. An earplug like the Moldex Pura-Fit 6800 provides outstanding hearing protection while also being extremely comfortable. The 6800s are also packaged in individual pairs so they can be stored in the truck, pocket, or locker of the worker to make them easily accessible.
As we've mentioned before, making personal protective equipment (PPE) handy and easy to use is a key to keeping workers safe. Comfortable equipment that is there when you need it can not only keep workers safe, it can also keep your operation running smoothly by keeping more workers available to work shifts.
If you have questions about alternate products, or PPE in general, please don't hesitate to call or contact us online at pksafety.com.