Miraculously, a California man recently survived two compaction cycles after being dumped into a front load garbage truck. While this incident did not end tragically, numerous others have. Preventing people from gaining access to a dumpster is difficult, and hearing them over the noise generated by the truck is equally challenging. However, drivers and helpers should keep their eyes and ears open for signs that a person may be in the dumpster while approaching the container and while the container is being lifted and dumped. Actions you can take include:
- Consider lowering the radio when dumping the container so a dumped person can be heard.
- Consider waiting a few seconds before packing a dumped load.
- Avoid pushing containers forward because an individual may be sleeping between the container and the wall.
- Look for evidence someone may be in the dumpster if a container needs to be rolled out to the truck.
It is important that containers have appropriate warning labels and be locked where practical to defend against unauthorized access and potential claims. Posting scheduled pick up days may help prevent these incidents as well.