Construction projects signal something new – or improved – is on the horizon. An active work site brings its fair share of challenges and risks.
Proper management of waste and debris is among them. Construction dumpsters make the waste disposal process more efficient while improving safety for everyone.
In this blog, we explore how to use construction dumpsters to prioritize safety on construction sites. We answer some of the most common questions, including:
- How do you choose the right-sized construction dumpster size for safety?
- What materials can you put in your construction dumpsters?
- What is the proper way to load construction dumpsters safely?
- How do you prevent accidents around construction dumpsters?
How do you choose the right-sized construction dumpster for safety?
Choosing the right size construction dumpsters is one of the most effective ways to manage waste safely on a construction site.
The first place to start is to assess the scale and scope of the project. Consider the type and volume of debris and other materials requiring disposal.
Not sure how to determine the volume? You can estimate the volume of waste your construction project will generate by measuring or calculating the dimensions of the materials you’ll be disposing of, including building materials, furniture, and other bulky items.
If in doubt, consult your roll-off dumpster rental service for assistance. KEI offers expert advice on the size and number of construction dumpsters you’ll need.
What materials can you put in your construction dumpsters?
Not all construction materials and debris can go into your construction dumpsters. It’s best to check with your roll-off dumpster rental service about prohibited items before you order dumpsters for your work site.
Some of the items most Pennsylvania dumpster rental companies accept for disposal include:
- Construction debris such as bricks, concrete, drywall, flooring, insulation, roofing materials, and wood.
- Plumbing and fixtures such as sinks, toilets, and piping.
- Scrap metal such as aluminum, copper, and steel.
- Soil, dirt, and rocks that are clean and free of contamination.
Some items are classified as hazardous waste and can’t be tossed out into your construction dumpsters. Asbestos, chemicals, oils, paints, and solvents are among the prohibited materials.
What is the proper way to load construction dumpsters safely?
Loading construction dumpsters safely is essential for preventing accidents, injuries, and overloading that can end up costing you extra money.
To maximize safety and prevent any surprises at pickup time, follow these guidelines:
- Wear personal protective equipment (PPE). Before you start loading construction dumpsters, make sure all workers handling debris and other waste materials are wearing the appropriate PPE. Gloves, safety glasses, hard hats, and steel-toed boots are recommended.
- Break down large items. When possible, disassemble large items to save space and ensure more even weight distribution.
- Cover sharp objects. Place materials with sharp edges or protruding nails in containers or wrap them in cardboard to prevent injuries.
- Distribute weight evenly. Heavy items should go on the bottom of the construction dumpster. Then, distribute the weight of the other items evenly around it to ensure safe transport of the dumpster once full. Never overfill the dumpster. It can cause it to tip during loading or transport, which puts everyone at risk.
If you have heavy items that are difficult for workers to lift, consider using a crane to move them from the job site to the dumpsters.
How do you prevent accidents around construction dumpsters?
Working with construction dumpsters poses certain hazards on a job site. Recognizing these dangers and taking steps to avoid them is crucial for ensuring the safety of your workers and maintaining efficient operations.
Some of the common risks associated with construction dumpsters include:
- Exposure to hazardous materials. Construction dumpsters may contain dangerous materials or substances, which can pose health risks to your workers if not handled properly. Identifying and separating harmful debris and using the appropriate personal protective equipment during handling.
- Falling objects. If construction dumpsters aren’t loaded properly, it can increase the risk of heavy and dangerous construction debris and other waste falling out of them during loading or transport. Stack materials evenly within the dumpster and avoid overfilling it to avoid this hazardous situation.
- Inadequate space and placement. Poor placement and lack of space for the dumpster hinder access, creating congestion that can pose risks to workers. Plan for adequate space for construction dumpsters on the work site, ensuring safe access and maneuverability for equipment and vehicles.
- Tripping and falling. Uneven ground, debris, and materials around construction dumpsters can lead to trips and falls. Keep the area around the dumpsters clean and organized. Provide clear walkways and use appropriate signage to indicate hazards.
Responding to an emergency
Responding to an emergency with a construction dumpster requires quick and effective actions to ensure the safety of everyone on the job site.
First, assess the situation. Determine the nature and severity of the emergency. Do you need medical care, hazardous materials cleanup, or is it another type of emergency?
Other helpful tips include:
- Ensure your safety. Before you respond to an incident with a construction dumpster, ensure your safety and the safety of others in the vicinity. Move to a safe location if there are immediate risks.
- Call for help. Dial 911 or your local emergency number to report the incident. Provide exact details about the location, nature of the emergency, and any injuries or hazards involved.
- Control fire or hazardous materials. If the emergency involves a fire or hazardous materials and it’s safe to attempt control measures, use fire extinguishers or spill control materials to mitigate the situation until help arrives.
- Provide first aid. If anyone is injured, administer basic care until professional medical help arrives on the scene. Ensure anyone who is hurt is moved to a safe location until help arrives.
- Document and report the incident. After the emergency is under control, document the incident with photos and notes and report it to the appropriate supervisor, project manager, and relevant authorities.
Construction dumpsters keep your work site safe
Prioritizing safety when working with construction dumpsters is more than a matter of compliance. It’s a fundamental responsibility that ensures the well-being of everyone on or near a job site.
Proactively address any issues and work with roll-off dumpster rental services like KEI who assist with every step of the process.