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Top skip tips

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says that there are at least 35,000 slips, trips and falls in the workplace each year. This equates to over £512 million per year in lost production and other costs so it’s now more important than ever to ensure that the workplace is clean and tidy to help prevent injury and meet health and safety standards. Here are a few things to bear in mind.

Skip Tip 1: Safety

If you are frequently handling high volumes of heavy, bulk material, ensure you select a skip which has in-built safety measures. When purchasing a self tipping skip be sure to look for one which operates with single-lever action and ideally has an automatic return. This helps to ensure minimal contact with the full skip as well as significantly increase emptying speed and efficiency. If your workplace is multi-level or you intend to use the skip to fill larger waste skips and bins, think about selecting a skip which can either be customised to work at height or can be easily lifted with a forklift.

Skip Tip 2: Quality

Investing in robust, reliable and high quality equipment will not only ensure longevity, but also improve long-term cost efficiency. Long lasting, weather resistant skips rely on both quality fabrication and reliable tipping mechanisms. Therefore when specifying, make sure you consider the lifting mechanisms, fabrication quality and finishing carefully. Added features such as three-way entry can also offer added value and versatility of use and should definitely be considered when buying a quality skip.

Purchasing from a well established manufacturer can help to ensure that you are getting a quality product which is fit for purpose.

Skip Tip 3: Maintenance

Simple and minimal maintenance are both key factors in the efficiency of recycling lines as well as waste handling and movement. Complex tipping skips and systems often require more specialist maintenance and attention, while simple mechanisms will increase lifespan, but may not offer the highest levels of throughput. If you require repetitive tipping or feeding of hoppers or larger waste skips and bins, it may be worthwhile considering automated box or bag tipping systems to save time and labour. Nonetheless, self tipping skips offer a simple, economical and versatile way of keeping your premises tidy with minimal maintenance. Try to match design to purpose, and balance efficiency with productivity.

Skip Tip 4: Bespoke Design

Skips come in all shapes and sixes, so make sure that whichever you select is right for you and your setting.

Different materials require different types of skip - if you are handling corrosive materials ensure you have a stainless steel skip to avoid corrosion and premature rusting. It is also important to bear in mind the weight and nature of the materials being handled. If you are processing heavier materials, be sure to specify a heavy-duty skip which will be designed and fabricated for that specification.

Balance size and cost and think carefully about a) what you need it for, b) what product or material you are using it for c) if you have any size or space limitations?

Skip Tip 5: Space Requirements

Skips can be small, handy and easily maneuverable. Companies tend to have several skips in a workspace that can be lifted easily by a forklift and emptied into bigger skips or bins that are located elsewhere on site.

There is only a marginal difference in the cost of higher capacity skips but it is important to keep space saving in mind when making your choice. The size and maximum load of your forklift is also an important consideration, as you need to be sure that your forklift can lift the intended load.

If your organisation is processing or sorting light materials, such as paper or cardboard, consider a mesh extension on the top of the skip. This allows increased capacity without compromising space or a great amount of weight. On the other hand if you are processing heavy materials, such as brick or scrap metal, it would be worth investing in a skip with the largest capacity that your forklift can manage.

Gavin Barnes is a recycling projects engineer at Tong Peal Engineering

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