How telematics can reduce the dangers of waste collection

December 06, 2021

Garbage collection is a dangerous occupation. The Canadian Union of Public Employees listed it as ‘one of the most dangerous jobs’ and several studies have listed it in the top five most dangerous occupations in the USA, with a fatality rate 10 times higher than all other occupations. What is it that makes collecting commercial and household waste so hazardous?

Being on the road all day is dangerous business. The truck can be involved in collisions and collecting bins from the side of the street is particularly unsafe, with each passing car a hazard. Lifting heavy and awkward objects is another on job risk and can cause physical injury and strain. Using correct lifting technique helps but accidents do happen, especially when lifting in extreme weather conditions like heavy rain or snow. Pests such as rodents and racoons often find themselves in the trash, and can surprise workers with unprovoked attacks which can lead to infection-related illnesses.  In really unlucky cases, there might even be the occasional bear.

Exposure to hazardous materials is another big risk that workers face on the job. Battery acid, nails left in construction materials, broken glass and needles are all commonly found in trash and pose a serious threat to workers. Chemicals, coals and even garden waste can start fires inside of the hopper that can quickly become very dangerous. So how do you reduce these risks for the unsung heroes of waste management?

Telematics helps with contamination visibility

Laws and regulations are in place for people to correctly dispose of hazardous items, but, unfortunately, it doesn’t mean it works as smoothly as it sounds.  By installing cameras on garbage trucks, it is one method used to boost contamination detection.  By taking a photo or video of every load as it enters the hopper, contamination can be identified quickly.

When combined with data from service verification tools such as RFID tags, GPS location and time stamps, those not following the waste management laws and regulations can easily be identified providing evidence to facilitate a necessary conversation, and the correct action taken. This greatly reduces the chances of contamination happening again, increasing safety standards for workers, and saving haulers money by avoiding costly contamination fines.

To find out how Coretex can increase safety standards on your garbage collection routes, get in touch with us today.