ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Landfill Safety - Reduce Hazardous Waste Exposures

Updated on November 15, 2009

Every day landfill workers may be exposed to dangerous hazardous substances including flammable, corrosive, or reactive materials; biological or radioactive substances; sharps; asbestos or lead; and compressed gases. These wastes can cause injury or illness by punctures and absorption through the skin, inhalation, or through contact with disease vectors like rodents and insects. Even though landfill managers must screen incoming wastes for hazardous materials, all solid waste workers should be trained to recognize hazardous materials and know how to avoid exposure to them.

Symbol for biohazards.
Symbol for biohazards.

Step 1

Instruct workers to always assume the worst case when working around waste materials. Mandate that they wear the proper Personal Protective Equipment to protect their skin, eyes, mouth, and nose, and avoid cuts to the skin or contact with chemicals. Provide workers with hand tools to minimize manual contact with waste, and strictly forbid scavenging. Also train them to react to identifiers of potentially hazardous or unauthorized waste. Labels, warning stickers, unusual odors, container type, and waste form offer clues as to the content or composition of wastes.

Step 2

To protect against airborne contamination, workers should avoid causing or working in dust clouds.  If mechanical means, such as dust extraction or filtering systems, cannot eliminate airborne waste then workers must use appropriate masks or respirators to prevent harmful exposures.  Mask and respirator selection should be made by a competent person to ensure they provide the correct protection for the situation or environment.

Rats carry disease.
Rats carry disease.

Step 3

Disease vector control is important because birds, rodents, insects, and their waste products may transmit bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections through bites or direct contact with infected material. Avoid contact with animals and insects and the areas where they may live. Eliminate potential food and shelter sources and maintain good housekeeping.

Workers must also practice good personal hygiene and keep hands away from the nose, eyes, and mouth until they can be washed with soap and running water before eating, drinking, or smoking. Minimum vaccination requirements for solid waste workers should include tetanus and, possibly, hepatitis A.  Encourage workers to seek prompt medical attention following exposures or suspected exposures to disease vectors and be sure to let their physicians know the work they do.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)