How to Reduce Construction Hazards at Landfills

If you want to control or reduce construction hazards at landfills, everyone should join efforts – from top management to the workers.

Among the ways to reduce hazards is by implementing clearances, designating a competent worker to supervise the operations in excavation sites, better mechanization, etc. These things can indeed reduce accidents and injuries.

Potential Hazards

Construction sites can be found all over landfills since the site is always undergoing excavation work, trash covering, maintenance, and expansion. The hazards that are usually faced by those present in the landfills include trench falls, collapse, welding burns, overexertion injuries, and being crushed or hit by heavy equipments. The injury cases in this site are sobering. Workers usually suffer from strains, sprains, bruises, cuts, broken bones, head trauma, chemical burns, severed appendages, crushing trauma, and puncture wounds. If only the employer implements safety controls, such hazards can be avoided.

Traumatic accidents are usually associated with the heavy equipments. Because of this, the employer should only allow trained operators in these active areas. Operators should be aware that the grounds in the landfill are shifting and so they should exhibit extra care when traveling along trenches and slopes. Clearances should be maintained to ensure safe at work. There are soft areas in the landfill where heavy equipments can suddenly rollover. Foot workers should never stand or work below raised blades or bucket to prevent potential accidents.

Other Sites in the Landfill

In excavation sites, crushing is quite common as well as collapsing of trenches. The operators can rollover or tip, and even make contact with power lines. A competent foot worker should be found on the site at all times to ensure that all structures are stable and don’t pose threats. The worker shouldn’t allow qualified personnel to enter the site. Before allowing excavation personnel into the site, the competent worker should first classify the soil for benching, shoring, and proper sloping. Fall hazards are also quite common. Proper analysis of potential exposures should be carried out and a protection plan should be established. Engineering controls are the best way to protect workers from fall hazards.

Overexertion injuries are also common because of manual lifting and handling materials, trash, or tools. Better mechanization is the key to addressing this problem. This will include the use of conveyors, fork lifts, etc. Cutting and welding activities can compromise the safety of workers in the landfill. The employer should set a designated area for welding activities. The area should have no combustibles. Workers should wear protective clothing. Make sure that workers are not carrying lighters because it can be ignited and cause accidents. Everyone should be committed to safety – from top management to employees. If the employer is committed to the safety of the landfill and the workers are aware of their responsibilities, construction hazards can be controlled.


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