Provided by the North Central ESD Workers Compensation Trust



Custodial, maintenance, and food service staff are responsible for taking out the trash. Unfortunately, every year employees are injured doing this seemingly easy chore, suffering injuries ranging from simple strains or sprains to more serious injuries such as a hernia or a bulging or ruptured disc requiring surgery and time away from work.

Injuries often occur when garbage cans are overfilled or the contents of the bag have been pushed down to create more room for garbage.

We ALL Need To Work Together To Help Keep These Valuable Workers Safe!

Give ‘Em A Break… By Helping To Lighten The Load

Drill a few of holes in the can to make it easier to remove the bag. A strong suction can be generated by the vacuum of air when a filled garbage bag is being lifted out of a trash can. Extra force is then needed to pull an overfilled bag out of a garbage can.

Create a false bottom in the can to reduce the load.
Position a light piece of foam or
empty box under the plastic liner or tie a knot in the bottom of the bag to reduce the volume.

Empty trash cans frequently - to avoid accumulating heavy loads.

Have students pour unused beverages into buckets that can be dumped down a drain to reduce weight & prevent messy spills.

Help create "custodial friendly classrooms"-

  • Never discard books & other heavy items in the garbage. Leave them near the trash can in a box marked “garbage”.
  • Use several small boxes to collect paper for recycling.
  • Remove unused items from the classroom. If you have not used the material within the past year, it should be removed.

Dispose Of Broken Glass & Sharp Objects SAFELY

Contact a custodial or maintenance staff member for assistance.

Never pick up broken glass with your bare hands. Wear cut-resistant gloves or use mechanical aides such as tongs or a broom & dust pan.

Never put broken glass or sharp objects into the regular garbage.

Always use a clearly labeled, puncture-proof container to dispose of broken glass or sharp objects.

If You Have To Take Out The Trash Remember To:

  • ALWAYS start by analyzing the load – is it heavy, awkward, leaking liquids?
  • GET HELP if it’s heavy, awkward or difficult to move.
  • AVOID carrying trash bags against your body – they could contain broken glass or sharp objects.

North Central ESD Workers' Compensation Trust

Providing Risk Management Services to Reduce On-The-Job Injuries