Compactors: Identifying Your Hazards

        Compactors: The Value of Conducting a Risk Assessment


Undertaking a thorough risk assessment should identify your business’ various compactor hazards.

For example, your risk assessment may uncover the possibility that children and adult members of the public could gain unauthorized access to your compactor via a new, nearby walking trail. If these untrained members of the public then try to operate the compactor, serious injury or death could result, exposing you to potential liabilities.

Many of the hazards you identify will be specific to your business, but some hazards will likely affect all businesses, including the following:

     • Feeble or nonexistent guarding for the compactor’s dangerous moving parts

     • Unsafe systems of work or unenforced safety regulations

     • Inadequate isolation/lock-out procedures

     • Unsafe blockage-clearing protocols

     • Inappropriate dumpster-transfer processes

     • Falls from height

     • Slips and trips

     • Manual handling

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.