How to safely use a rubbish chute

Scaffolding can help protect workers from falls

When working on construction projects on high floors of a building, workers need to have a way of getting rid of the large amounts of debris generated without having to manually carry it to the ground. An easy way of doing this is to use a rubbish chute, but because this involves simply throwing debris down the chute, it can be dangerous to those on the ground. This is why it’s very important that the correct safety procedures for using a rubbish chute are followed at all times.

What is a rubbish chute?

A rubbish chute is the tube-like object that you may have seen extending from the top of a scaffold to the bottom. It allows workers to throw debris down to the ground while controlling its flow and ensuring that no one is in its path. When set up and used correctly, rubbish chutes can be perfectly safe, but all too often corners are cut and people’s lives are endangered.

Safety tips for using a rubbish chute

  • Set the chute up as near to vertical as possible
  • The bottom end of the chute should be tightly secured to a skip with a rope
  • When one corner of the skip is full, move the chute so that the end points to the opposite corner
  • If the chute sags in the middle, it must be unclogged
  • Hose the chute down regularly to prevent the accumulation of debris and possible clogs
  • When not in use, store the chute sections upright
  • Do not throw liquid or corrosive material down the chute
  • Do not throw very heavy or jagged items down the chute
  • Always wear protective clothing, gloves, and a hard hat when working in the vicinity of a rubbish chute
  • Ensure that the scaffold is constructed so as to be able to hold the weight of the chute
  • Ensure that cones and other warning signs are placed around the chute if it is in a public area
  • Before using the chute, warn everyone below to stand clear

Claim compensation for an accident with a rubbish chute

Each year, many thousands of workers in the UK are injured due to the negligent use of a rubbish chute. If you have been injured at work, you may be entitled to make a claim for personal injury compensation. To find out more about this legal provision, contact our expert advisors at Accident Advice Helpline.

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