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Staying Safe at Potentially Hazardous Locations

Safety is paramount in the portable sanitation industry. That’s why PROs create safety programs and insist upon proper personal protective equipment (PPE). But what about those less common situations? The new customer with a treacherous drive or the ice storm that hits your typically warm state? By creating a culture of safety and covering unexpected hazards, you’ll help your portable restroom team stay aware at all times.

Determine What Makes Hazardous Locations

Guidelines and regulations from OSHA and DOT drive safety programs for service technicians, route drivers, and other portable restroom staff. However, it’s essential to address the extra safety measures your crew can take to stay safe in potentially hazardous locations as well. 

  • Disaster areas may include downed power lines, blocked roadways, and even local scavengers looking to make a buck.
  • Hazardous weather may affect loading and unloading conditions with wind and ice creating unsafe areas.
  • Construction sites requiring high-rise safety and maintenance create more safety issues due to the use of heavy equipment and overhead obstacles.
  • Hard-to-reach customers might mean traversing narrow roads or rough terrain that makes driving a pumper truck more dangerous.
  • Site-specific hazards such as mining facilities may require extra safety protection to prevent lung injury.

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Go Over Hazard-Specific Prevention Measures

As a PRO, it’s your job to remind staff of the importance of safety procedures. Regular training and inspections show your team that safety is a top priority. So, how can your service technicians stay safe in hazardous locations? Three factors make a difference.

  1. Ongoing training
  2. Site-specific PPE
  3. Constant awareness

Disaster areas: Until you get to a disaster area, it’s hard to know what you’re up against. Start with the basics by requiring coveralls, high-visibility safety vests, and hard hats that protect against electrical current and falling objects.

Inclement weather: Icy or windy weather makes work more uncomfortable and dangerous. It only takes a second for the wind to catch your portable restroom and topple it onto your employee. Go through your tie-down process, encourage your crew to stop if the situation isn’t secure, and provide extra protection like ice cleats for their boots and insulated rubber gloves.

Construction sites: A lot is going on at construction sites. Before your crew grabs their hard hats, make sure that your equipment is the right grade. Type 1 hard hats protect your technicians from falling objects while type 2 prevent injury from side blows. You may also want to consider switching out their rubber boots for those with a steel toe.

Challenging roadways: Even expert drivers may struggle with a tanker on narrow roads. If possible, review the site before your technician heads out so you can provide some pointers. It’s an excellent time to discuss how to handle steering corrections for tire slippage, go over driving tips, and your accident scene process.

Site-specific hazards: Check with your client to determine if your service technicians need extra safety gear to maintain your portable restrooms. For example, mining operations may require your team to wear respirators or face masks.

Train Employees to Stay Safe at All Locations

Tragedies occur because of unfamiliar circumstances, along with getting too comfortable with a routine. That’s why PROs prioritize safety training and accident prevention programs that address uncommon issues while also emphasizing the importance of PPE, safety data sheets (SDS), and road rules.

Looking to Take Your Portable Restroom Business to the NEXT LEVEL? Download our FREE Guide: “Your Guide to Operating A Portable Restroom Business.”

Thinking About GETTING INTO the Portable Restroom Industry? Download our FREE Guide: “Your Guide to Starting A Portable Restroom Business.”

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