Category: Dumpster Access

Selecting the right safety equipment means considering all aspects of the product. For instance, investing in portable steps to prevent slips, trips, and falls will require a review of the equipment as a unit. Here’s a checklist of what to look for in moveable safety steps:

1. Does the tread rise meet OSHA standards?

    • Riser height should be 5 to 9 inches
    • Stair width minimum should be 22 inches between vertical barriers
    • Tread depth should be a minimum of 10-14 inches
    • Tread nosing shall be straight leading edges
    • Stair landings shall be at least 20 inches deep

2. Does the unit have guardrails?

  • Any working surface (platform) 4 feet or higher must be protected with guardrails on all sides; the guardrails should be at least 42” tall
  • Do the guardrails cover all open gaps?
  • If the unit abuts a solid structure, are chain guards present?

3. Is the platform height within 4x its base width?

  • Is there an outrigger connected to the platform such as a ramp or stairs that can add stability to the platform and increase the base width safely?

4. Are the stairs at least 16” wide, 7” deep, and have no more than 9” of rise between them?

  • Are the steps uniformly spaced and arranged?

5. Has the platform been tested to 4x its rated capacity?

When shopping for portable stairs, don’t be tempted to purchase based on price. Since you’re providing safety access equipment for your employees, go beyond a quick buy online and make sure the equipment you choose meets OSHA standards. The cost of one workers’ compensation claim, time lost, and productivity lost stands out in sharp relief against a non-standard internet “special”.

However, by using this checklist to ensure your portal stairs conform to OSHA standards, you can choose safety access equipment that serves its purpose — to provide ergonomic access for employees. Your investment in the right product, such as the Dumpster Access stair and ramp units, will pay dividends by helping keep your employees safe and on the job.

An employee who slips, trips, or falls in the workplace is at risk of becoming part of the national opioid crisis. Opioids are prescribed as a pain relief agent. One-third of workers receive an opioid prescription early after a low back injury. A recent study suggests that such prescriptions may increase the risk for disability.

Back injuries and other strains represent the lion’s share of on-the-job injuries. Lost productivity compounds with delayed disability or poisoning through opioid use or overdose.

An investment in safety policies, education, and equipment is critical. It is the safety net businesses need to avoid workplace injuries.

Safety in the workplace does lead to fewer injuries. Fewer injuries reduce the need for pain relievers, including opioids. Opioids impact workers and employers. From the ability of an injured employee to return to work to being able to be productive at work.

The number of opioid-related deaths and injuries are unknown. Yet it is clear the opioid epidemic is impacting businesses and employees. The National Business Group on Health released a report raising the alarm years ago. Drug overdoses account for the most poisoning deaths in the US. The estimated total cost in the US of poisonings caused $23.7 billion of productivity loss in 2000. The number of poisonings has increased. As of 2017, that number has jumped to $33.65 billion in productivity loss.

For workers in high-risk jobs the investment in safe access equipment is a must. Safety stairs and ramps, rails, chain-guards, and platforms provide a foundation for safety. These preventative measures have big benefits.

  • Fewer workers’ compensation claims
  • Fewer injured employees
  • Fewer employees at risk of prescription poisoning

The National Safety Council has slip, trip, and fall prevention training. This is a useful guide to creating an ergonomically safe workplace.

Our Dumpster Access units are the perfect supplement to any safety program. The units become a part of the safe access environment needed to help prevent injuries.

Custodians suffer back injuries when throwing out garbage because dumpsters are too high from the ground. The action requires force and awkward postures.

The motion of hoisting or swinging heavy bags to get them up, over, and into a dumpster can cost a school, municipality, or any other employer plenty. Insurance provider Travelers Company examined more than 1.5 million workers’ compensation claims and found the top two types of workplace injuries are:

  1. Materials handling (32% of all claims)
  2. Slips, trips, and falls (16% of all claims)

In unprotected environments, custodians are at risk in both categories. According to the 2017 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, workers’ compensation costs for disabling but non-fatal injuries cost nearly $59.9 billion dollars. The top three causes represent almost half: overexertion ($13.8 billion or 23%), falls on the same level ($10.6 billion or 17.7%), and falls to a lower level ($5.5 billion or 9.2%).

The investment in a portable or fixed stair or ramp system with handrails and chain guards is a fraction of the average $40,000.00 it costs businesses to cover a fall, slip, or trip injury.

The two most common types of injuries, accounting for nearly two-thirds of all injuries in the workplace, can be addressed by incorporating safe access equipment into work duty areas. By creating an ergonomically sound environment, custodians can use more efficient, effective, and safe routines for duties from trash removal to changing lightbulbs or even to fix the basketball net.

By using safe access equipment that brings the custodian to the top of the dumpster or task safely, the risks to personnel injury and sick time can be diminished. The heaving and twisting motions made while trying to lift a heavy bag overhead are unnecessary because the custodian can simply drop the bag into the top of the dumpster by walking up a safety ramp or stairs. With feet and body facing the dumpster, the garbage bags can be tossed in. This eliminates the temptation of pulling and swinging a heavy bag overhead and makes the process of trash disposal more sanitary.

Dumpster Access products are available in portable and fixed models. Institutions using the portable model are able to make the most of the unit by employees simply unlocking the wheels and walking it to the next duty or task — perfect for institutions with more than one dumpster, and perfect for the busy custodian, whose tasks could present a strain. With a full metal platform, handrails, and a chain fall, custodians and other workers can focus on the task, rather than trying to manage their balance on the narrow steps of a ladder with no solid top platform upon which to stand. When the employee has finished one far-reaching task, they simply unlock the wheels and roll the unit down to the next.

Back injuries cost institutions in time lost and worker’s compensation. The investment in a safety ramp or stair unit designed specifically for safe dumpster access can create an efficient, simple solution.

The Risk Management Case for Work Safe Access Safety Stairs
School bus drivers and student passengers perform emergency evacuation drills. These required drills happen on school premises within the first six weeks of each semester.
The goal is to ensure the driver can get themselves and the students off the bus fast. They must use the emergency exit door at the back of the bus. Washington state law requires bus drivers to exit the back of the bus within 25 seconds. Bus drivers must jump or slide out of the rear exit door.
Hundreds of people are making a leap of up to four feet off the back end of the bus every few weeks. Performing this drill without a safety access has resulted in serious injuries. Without units like our DSW-2 or DSW-3 units, this maneuver has resulted in broken legs, fractured ankles, and time-loss claims. Schools abiding by the drill schedule run the risk of injuries.
Required testing of the emergency evacuation procedures can be safe. Office of State Public Instruction recognizes that using safety platforms and stairs creates a safer environment for the training drills.
Our simple, elegant solution adds one more critical measure of safety. Bus drivers and students alike stay focused on the drills without worry of injury.

  1. Do not risk back injury by hoisting garbage overhead
  2. Stay visible to traffic and stay alert to trucks or machinery moving near the dumpster
  3. Never extend your body over a dumpster
  4. Keep the area around the dumpster clean and free of clutter
  5. Never move items inside a dumpster with your hands or feet
  6. Never enter a dumpster
  7. Do not try to fight a dumpster fire, call the fire department
  8. Do not dispose of hazardous waste in solid waste dumpsters
  9. Notify your supervisor if you see signs of animals or pests in a dumpster
  10. Use caution when opening or closing lids, be aware of pinch points and where you place your hands