6 Safety Tips When Working With Your Dumpster Rental

by Greg Westfall


Attention Homeowners: How to Choose a Dumpster That’s Residential-Friendly

There’s no doubt that a construction site is rife with hazards. From dangerous tools to falling debris, contractors must ensure the safety of both labourers and homeowners. Although dumpster rentals are common, not much thought is given to the risks these containers can also pose. 

While it may seem easy enough to toss debris into an open bin, safety is incredibly important to prevent injury. So keep these tips in mind when working with your next dumpster rental. 

1) Choose a safe location

When it comes to residential projects, most dumpsters are placed on driveways. But avoid placing your container too close to the house; this can become a hazard for homeowners and small children. Instead, place your dumpster far enough away from the front entrance -- without being too inconvenient for your workers. You must also account for truck clearance as this is crucial when your bin is hauled away. 

2) Wear protective clothing for your safety

Hard hats and steel-toe boots are a given on any construction site. But protective clothing is especially important when managing waste. From chunks of drywall to old plywood, most of the material that lands in your dumpster will be large and bulky. Sharp objects and falling debris can be extremely dangerous if you’re not wearing the right gear. That’s why work gloves and protective goggles are necessary.

Also, most dumpsters are made of steel. The exterior paint can chip away over time, exposing sharp steel edges. Touching rusty surfaces could cause serious infections. By wearing protective clothing, you can shield yourself from various health risks. 

3) Practice safe operation

Although dumpsters may appear straight-forward, they often contain moving parts that require safe operation. Once your container is delivered, ask the rental company for a quick walk-through. Understanding certain levers and hinges can help avoid pinching or crushing hazards. Learn how to operate the doors, latches and locks before loading up your bin

If something has been thrown out accidentally, carefully remove surrounding debris with the help of a partner. Never attempt to walk into a dumpster on your own. Always have someone nearby in case of an emergency. 

4) Keep children away for their safety

An unusual structure can peak curiosity in small children. But dumpsters are no place for play. Keep kids out of your container, and block it off with barrier gates or construction tape if necessary. Not only can a dumpster’s sharp edges cause cuts, but small hands can also get caught in swinging doors. Meanwhile, make sure all debris is tucked inside and that no materials are hanging out. 

5) Avoid fires

Dumpsters can contain flammable materials. Never smoke or light matches near an open bin. A small spark is sometimes all it takes to send old furniture, electronics and chemicals up in flames. In case of emergency, have a fire extinguisher nearby. 

6) Watch out for animals

Most dumpsters have an open top, which makes them susceptible to raccoons, mice and other pests. Animals will rummage around looking for food, especially during the night. Resist the urge to dump leftovers in your bin, no matter how convenient this may be after lunch. Let workers know the dumpster is for construction materials only. Instead, set up regular trash bins nearby for non-project waste.

At VaVia, the safety of our clients is top priority. That’s why we ensure all our dumpsters are well-maintained with your safety in mind. Never hesitate to ask us for a quick walk-through upon delivery. Whether you’re a contractor or homeowner, we’re happy to explain how our containers work. After all, a culture of safety is key to supporting our construction industry!