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Garbage Truck Safety

Garbage Truck Safety

While accidents can happen in any workplace, operating a garbage truck has proven time and time again to be particularly dangerous. For example, a 30-year-old sanitation worker was killed by a closing tailgate.

The worker and the garbage truck operator finished unloading their truck and were conducting a quick inspection. Th operator then signaled to the worker to stand back to lower the tailgate.

While the tailgate was lowering, the worker tried to reach into the truck to remove an object. The closing tailgate crushed his head and killed him instantly. The co-worker found the body while continuing the inspection.

Proper training* and education can prevent accidents like this one from occurring. Every worker involved with garbage truck operations should be fully trained and understand safety standards associated with garbage trucks.

Garbage Truck Safety Standards

OSHA regulations don’t directly oversee sanitation, employees, or vehicles. However, they still inspect employers when fatalities or safety complaints occur.

The American National Standards Institute recently updated their safety standards for garbage truck operations. The updated standards include:

  • Ride only in the vehicle cab or on steps specifically designed for riding
  • Stay inside the vehicle until it has completely stopped
  • Don’t use riding steps when the vehicle is backing, exceeding 10 mph or traveling more than 0.2 miles
  • Avoid riding on the loading sills or in hoppers

Employees understanding and following safe operating procedures is key for a safe workplace. With a little collaboration, leadership, and teamwork, employees can prevent many future accidents from happening.

For more safety trainings, visit us at

*Safety Provisions will be offering a garbage truck safety training in the near future.