Compactors: Controlling Your Hazards

        Compactors: The Value of Conducting a Risk Assessment


After identifying your compactor-operating hazards, design measures to control them. Use the control measures listed here as a starting point.

Safe Site

     • Situate compactors to avoid or minimize risks related to material transport
     and unauthorized access.

     • Surround your compactor with lockable fencing that is at least 6 feet tall in
     order to deter unauthorized access.

     • Install adequate lighting near your compactor.

Safe Equipment

     • Guard all dangerous parts of machinery.

     • Maintain all guarding that prevents access to the dangerous parts.

     • Prevent unauthorized operation with effective electrical isolation, lockable
     controls and dedicated key operation.

Safe Procedures

     • Write a set of procedures for clearing blockages in compactors.

     • Implement a permit-to-work system for granting access to any dangerous parts
     of compactor machinery.

     • Choose a time during the day to complete skip-transfer activities when the
     lowest number of people will be present.

Safe Operator

     • Allow only trained staff to operate compactors.

     • Maintain signs and instructions for proper compactor use.

     • Provide periodic refresher training.

Compactors compress waste and recyclable materials to save space and make business operations more efficient. As a business owner or manager, you need to identify and mitigate the risks that compactor operators face in order to safeguard your employees from everyday compactor hazards.