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Safety Tips When Handling Skip Hire

Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Jun 29, 2023
6 minutes read
  • Useful tips about safe skip hire
  • What does skip hire cost?
  • Important skip hire safety procedures

When it comes to skip hire, you may not be clued up about the health and safety aspects involved. There are safe ways to load the skip and make sure you avoid injury to yourself, members of the public and skip staff. Not only this, but there are tips to what you can safely include in a skip and ways to make sure it doesn’t get damaged.

This article will detail how you can avoid danger when you go to hire a skip. From the more common to the less well known tips about skip hire safety, we’ve got you covered.

A skip full of rubble on a grass verge with traffic cones either side of it

Prepare for the Skip Hire

The first tip is all about preparation. To get the most out of your skip, you’ll need to settle on the correct size for the job you need it for. It’s also important to have a think about where you’ll want to skip to be when it’s delivered. If your drive is big enough, make sure it’s clear before it gets delivered. If the skip is bigger than you can accommodate, make sure you’ve cleared a skip hire permit with the council so you have permission for it to sit on the roadside.

Talk to the Company

Before agreeing to the skip, it’s important to ask if all of your waste will be accepted. There are restricted items that one company might accept that another wouldn’t. Some skip hire companies will collect special items for a charge, so it’s worth checking if any limits have been imposed. This can also be the case for weight restrictions.

Safety Barriers

As well as seeing if all your waste can go into the skip, communication during delivery is also key. Skip hire companies are experts, with the width of knowledge about good skip placement throughout the whole of the UK. If you’re worried about access arrangements or damage to your drive, the staff member delivering the skip will advise on what might work best.

For safe delivery of a skip on the road, you should avoid placing it over any drain covers or where access might be needed. Emergency exits should not be blocked under any circumstance. Any skip on the road will also need a hazard light attached to it and potentially traffic cones to make sure that no pedestrian misses it. This is more for the night than the day.

Load Heavy Items First

The most pertinent point when it comes to loading a skip is to make sure the heaviest items go into the skip before the light stuff. You may find you have more space available if you load up on weighty items first. For safety, having a good ballast ensures the skip doesn’t become top heavy, reducing the risk of any damage or collapse. When it comes to collection, the skip will then sit properly on the skip hire lorry.

Lift With Your Legs

The only downside to skip hire is that you have to do the hard work yourself. To prevent injury, any heavy objects should be lifted with your legs and not your back. It’s easy to think you can lift by yourself, but this is how accidents happen. Make sure you get help if you need it and don’t lift anything heavier than you’re capable of.

Heavy Lifting Posture Vector

This is also important if you have a skip with a high side or lip. It can be difficult to hoist a relatively heavy item over the top and into the skip. Some skips get around this by having drop down doors, which gives you the freedom of walking in any waste or wheeling items in on a wheelbarrow.

Careful Skip Hire Loading

When it comes to loading a skip, there are several things you can do to prevent harm to yourself, damage to the skip and the enforcement of any fines. Skip hire safety goes beyond simply making sure you’re lifting properly and putting the right waste in.

Don’t Overload

All skips come with a maximum fill line. This is to prevent anything from spilling out when the skip is in transit. A level load is not only recommended, but essential. Anything piled higher than the max fill height is a safety concern, especially if it’s heavy. Skip hire companies can reject collections if a skip is piled too high.

Hazardous Waste

There are restricted items that you can’t put into skips. These include televisions, tyres, fridge freezers, and household and car batteries. If any restricted items are found in your skip (if you’ve tried to hide them, for example), you will either be billed for their safe disposal, the items will be returned or the skip hire company will simply refuse to collect their skip until you’ve removed the offending items.

Take Responsibility for Your Waste

Skip Full of Bin Bags

Ultimately, responsibility for what is in your skip lies with you. If you’re worried about anyone throwing rubbish into your skip, you could consider hiring one with a lid. Alternatively, you can cover it with a tarpaulin as a safety measure. This has the added benefit of preventing any items from becoming collision points for any passersby, doubling up as a skip hire safety method.

If any food or liquid is found in your skip, this will be down to you to deal with as they are both restricted items. Likewise, if you need your skip for longer, you need to arrange an extension with the skip hire company. Any unused space is then considered a waste as it’s money spent that has gone unused.

The best skip hire safety tip is to be wary of flammable materials. Fires are not allowed in skips, even to make space for further materials. If any skip is damaged by fire, you can be responsible for any replacement. Some restricted materials aren’t allowed simply because of the associated fire risk. A skip full of permitted flammables (like timber) should be collected as soon as convenient to minimise any risk.

Crushing Waste

In terms of environmental concerns, it’s good to not deliberately crush your skip waste, even accidentally underfoot. It may sound silly, but some materials can release dust or other small particles that can cause breathing issues or pollute the environment. Microplastics can become an issue if larger plastic items are continuously crushed, even inadvertently.

You can minimise the hazards of small particles escaping by properly segregating your waste. Any loose bags, for example, should be secured. If any dusty items or those prone to releasing easily inhaled particles are contained, make sure the bags they’re in are securely tied. This way, any environmental influences will be minimised, such as high winds and heavy rain.

What Does Skip Hire Cost?

This depends on the size of skip that you’re after, but on average a standard 8 yard skip will be around £210–£330. Skip hire cost also depends on where in the UK you live. A 6 yard skip will fit on most drives, whereas an 8 yard skip is the largest you can have on a public highway with a skip hire permit.

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