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OSHA's Safety and Health Information Bulletin: Crushing Hazards Associated with Dumpsters and Rear-Loading Trash Trucks provides safety information for working with rear-loading trash trucks during the emptying process. The following items, while not necessarily comprehensive, provide guidance on vehicle safety tips:
- Wear seat belts that meet OSHA standards [29 CFR 1926.601(b)(9)], except on equipment that is designed only for standup operation, or that has no rollover protective structure.
- Check vehicles before each shift to assure that all parts and accessories are in safe operating condition [For additional information, see Vehicle Inspection].
- Do not drive a vehicle in reverse gear with an obstructed rear view, unless it has an audible reverse alarm, or another worker signals that it is safe.
- Drive vehicles or equipment only on roadways or grades that are safely constructed and maintained.
- Make sure that you and all other personnel are in the clear before using dumping or lifting devices.
- Lower or block bulldozer and scraper blades, end-loader buckets, dump bodies, etc., when not in use, and leave all controls in neutral position.
- Set parking brakes when vehicles and equipment are parked, and chock the wheels if they are on an incline.
- All vehicles must have adequate braking systems and other safety devices [For additional information, see Brake Systems].
- Haulage vehicles that are loaded by cranes, power shovels, loaders etc., must have a cab shield or canopy that protects the driver from falling materials.
- Do not exceed a vehicle's rated load or lift capacity.
- Do not carry personnel unless there is a safe place to ride.
- Workers in highway/road construction work zones must be highly visible in all levels of light. Warning clothing, such as red or orange vests, are required; and if worn for night work, must be of reflective material.