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In most countries household’s waste products waste are stored in plastic bags mixed without being sorted and be stored in special plastic bins or metal containers in the street and collected every day by waste collectors. Waste collection vehicle is a compactor truck with a closed container or scoop for storage of the waste. Loading system comprises automatic fork that align carefully with sleeves of waste containers through a set of levers. The containers is lifted till it get to top, the contents are slipped upside down and is emptied into vehicle hopper. Bulky garbage is compacted hydraulically forward by moving walls that oscillate to push waste to the rear of the vehicle. The collection vehicle transport waste to be evacuated at the discharge site that receives wastes from all municipal districts, where it is reloaded into loaders, weighed and transported to plants for sorting and recycling.
Waste workers are exposed daily to domestic waste that pose health and safety risks as garbage collection is a very hazardous job, and keep many waste collectors off the job at any given time.
Deaths in the occupation are rare, but ergonomic injuries, such as back strain, are commonplace and cuts from sharp objects and exposure to bacteria and toxins are always a threat.
In the United States, in 2010, waste collection had a mortality rate of 30 per 100 000 workers.
Garbage workers are exposure to bacteria and fungi and face a moderate risk that is about 10 times less than the health threat to farmers.
Trash collectors face health and safety risks as ergonomic injuries, followed by cuts, and then exposure to micro-organisms. Exposure to vehicle fumes is another serious risk. Collecting compost posed more of a bacterial health threat than garbage collection because compost is more concentrated.
To minimize health and safety risks waste collectors should wear protective clothing such as:
Collectors should keep up to date on tetanus and hepatitis immunizations, and practice safe garbage collection by testing the weight of garbage before lifting it, using two hands, and, when available, using a garbage truck’s automated loading system for heavy bins containing compost and recycling.
Basic personal hygiene is important for reducing the risks from handling health-care waste, and convenient washing facilities should be available for personnel involved in the task.
Hygiene facilities indicated that hand wash basins should be provided on collection vehicles. The use of hand wipes and gels without additional hand wash facilities was accepted only where exposure to a minimal health risk could be demonstrated.
Rather than conventional hand washing facilities, reliance in waste and recycling activities has grown on protecting hands first by wearing suitable gloves, etc. and then, after removal, cleaning hands with wipes and/or hand gels.
Hand wipes and/or hand gels are widely used in the healthcare sector. However their suitability in other industry sectors (such as agriculture, entertainments and waste and recycling) is less clear because the type, range and degree of contamination may be significantly different.
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