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Restaurant Ergonomics: How to Safely Handle Kitchen Waste

If you manage a commercial kitchen, you understand the challenges of waste management. However, you might not think of sanitation as a kitchen ergonomic concern.

Restaurant Ergonomics: How to Safely Handle Kitchen Waste

That’s a mistake. On average, each U.S. restaurant produces about 100,000 pounds of trash each year, and someone needs to lift all of that trash into the dumpster. In the food services industry, sprains, strains, and tears account for the majority of all injuries requiring days away from work—and heavy lifting certainly raises the risk of those injuries. 

While the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) doesn’t set a weight limit for lifting tasks, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health establishes a maximum load of 51 pounds, which is then adjusted to account for various factors (to learn more, read: OSHA Lifting Limits Demystified).

Generally, loaded trash cans will surpass NIOSH limits. They also need to be lifted quite high in most circumstances, and workers may need to position their bodies awkwardly, raising the risk of an injury. While proper lifting techniques can help to reduce risks, restaurants are fast-paced workplaces—enforcing better techniques may be unrealistic.  

Bin Dumpers: An Ergonomic Solution for Restaurant Trash Cans

The best way to address any workplace hazard is to eliminate it. That’s not always feasible for every type of hazard, but it’s an excellent solution for most lifting tasks. After all, if workers don’t need to lift anything, they’re not at risk (and usually, they’re able to handle the job much more efficiently).  

Bin dumpers are designed specifically for this purpose. Also called bin tippers or trash can dumpers, they lift loads hydraulically or mechanically, enabling any worker to empty waste bins without heavy lifting or awkward positioning. Many kitchens in Europe, Asia, and other markets have used bin dumpers for food waste management for years, and U.S. restaurants are finally catching on. 

Ezi-MT® Manual Bin Dumper

Solus Group carries a range of bin dumpers with various capacities, lifting mechanisms, and safety features. For the food services industry, we recommend:

The EZI-MT® Manual Bin Dumper 

With a lifting capacity of 140 lbs (65 kg), the EZI-MT can handle most fully loaded trash cans with ease. Its heavy-duty mechanical winch easily lifts waste to a 59-inch tipping height, sufficient for standard dumpsters. 

Heavy-duty casters provide maneuverability, and the entire unit is weather-proof for indoor/outdoor use. The slim profile of EZI-MT makes it an excellent fit for commercial kitchens—even when space is at a premium.  

The Multi-Tip® Hydraulic Bin Dumper

While the EZI-MT is appropriate for many kitchens, some commercial facilities handle larger loads. The Multi-Tip is a hydraulic bin dumper compatible with common waste bins between 24 and 96 gallons (90-360 liters).

The Multi-Tip is available with various tipping heights. All models have two-hand controls for enhanced safety during use, and the electro-hydraulic operation provides reliable service  Dual brakes keep the unit stable while lifting and emptying loads.

Multi-Tip® Hydraulic Bin Dumper

Find Ergonomic Waste Handling Solutions for Your Business

The EZI-MT and Multi-Tip are effective tools for improving your restaurant’s ergonomics—but they’re far from the only options available. Solus Group carries a full lineup of bin tippers, bulk ingredient containers, and waste roll-out carts to help you provide your team with everything they need to run a clean, efficient, and ergonomically safe kitchen.

Learn more about bin dumpers and bins from Solus Group or call 314-696-0200 to speak with a member of our sales team.