Common Sense Skip Hire Safety Tips

Charlotte Miller

Updated on:

Safety is extremely important when hiring a skip. As a heavy metal container that can have a wide range of messy and broken items in it, there are a lot of potential health risks. This is why there are best practices you must follow for responsible skip hire to prevent avoidable accidents.

Whether it’s skip hire in Chorley or anywhere else in the UK, the safety regulations are more or less the same. You don’t have to be an expert in skip hire laws to use these services, but it helps to read up before you do – and this blog is here to explain some common sense skip hire safety tips.

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Store the skip in an appropriate place

Before you confirm a skip delivery, you should consider where exactly the skip will go. Not only must the large skip hire truck be able to access the location, but you’ll need an area of flat and stable ground big enough to house the skip size that you’re ordering.

There must be no obstacles to prevent the truck from delivering or collecting the skip, such as low-hanging wires or trees. Wherever the skip is set down, it must be on solid and even ground, and must not block access to footpaths, entrances and exits, or utility points.

Bear in mind that if you don’t have room on your private property, and you need to place the skip on a public road, then you’ll need to get a permit from the local council first. Many skip hire providers offer to apply for these permits on your behalf, and include the fee in the overall price.

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Follow the public safety rules

If you’re permitted to place your skip in a public space, then it must not be within 15 metres of a junction, in addition to the placement guidelines mentioned above. The council will also insist on extra safety measures to make the skip obvious even at night, including:

  • Placing traffic cones around the skip (at least one at each corner)
  • Having reflective strips on the skip (or using elements of reflective paint)
  • Fitting the skip with a safety lamp to be turned on when it’s dark
  • Clearly labelling the skip with the provider’s name and contact number   

As an extra common sense measure, you might want to use a tarpaulin to cover the skip whenever you won’t be around. This will prevent people from sneaking unauthorised waste into your skip without you knowing, which could cause damage or injury later on.

Don’t be tempted to over-fill your skip

You’d think it would be common sense to pay attention to the ‘fill lines’ around the inside of the skip, but many people try to fit more into a smaller skip rather than hiring a suitably larger size. Some go so far as to line the skip with ‘greedy boards’ to make the sides higher, which is illegal.

The ‘fill line’ is there to prevent items from hanging over the edges or falling out, which is a risk while the skip is stationary and especially when the skip hire workers are moving the container. If you overload your skip and it’s too heavy, or the sides are overflowing, it might not be collected.

Most skip hire companies reserve the right to refuse a collection if you don’t follow the rules for filling your skip properly. You’ll either have to empty out the extra waste and dispose of it yourself another way, or pay a fee for the company to remove the additional waste.

Be careful when loading the skip

Even if you’re in a hurry to complete a project and fill the skip, you should be cautious when loading items into it. Never throw anything into the skip, especially not from far away. It’s best to lift items in while standing right next to the skip, laying them as flat as you can to stack them evenly.

It’s also a good idea to wear gloves when filling a skip, as it helps you to keep a good grip and protects your hands against any sharp edges. If there are bulky and/or heavy items, get someone to help you rather than lifting them yourself – whether it’s a family member, friend, or neighbour.

Remember to bend your knees and keep your back straight when lifting. Pay attention to where your fingers are when loading waste into the skip, ensuring that you don’t trap them between the waste and the side of the skip. Try to load heavier items first and pack smaller, lighter things around them.

Don’t put hazardous materials in the skip

Whenever you hire a skip, the provider should make you aware of the things that you can and can’t put in it. You can be fined for sneaking prohibited waste into your skip – and it will be found when the waste is sorted later, no matter how well you think you’ve hidden it, so it’s just not worth it.

Only general waste is allowed in a domestic skip, to avoid health and safety risks to anyone around the skip at all times. Hazardous materials that aren’t allowed in a skip at any point include:

  • Asbestos
  • Chemicals    
  • Solvents
  • Paints
  • Oils
  • Tyres
  • Light bulbs
  • Batteries
  • Gas cylinders
  • Fluorescent tubes
  • Electrical waste

If you have any questions about which types of waste are classed as hazardous, you can always ask your skip provider. Another rule that should be common sense: no lighting fires in the skip. Some might risk it to reduce the waste and make room for more, but you’re likely to end up damaging the skip and the ground at the very least – but the consequences of a fire can be much more serious.

Stay safe when hiring skips

With these five common sense safety tips for skip hire, you should be able to hire a skip without a hitch. From skip hire in Leyland to across Lancashire and beyond, you can be completely confident in your safety throughout every aspect of skip hire.

Follow the guidelines and get advice from your skip hire company and you’ll be set. From delivery to loading and collection, the skip company should provide support at every step, helping with permit applications and safety equipment if necessary.