Heavy equipment is always an intimidating sight in any construction site. The giant beasts not only handle massive construction projects but can also cause severe accidents and injuries. That is why there are particular construction safety tips for these earthmovers. Simple advice, such as observing parking cones, can help minimize risks for accidents and injuries.
If you are handling any of the heavy equipment including backhoes, excavators, trenchers, and bulldozers amongst others, we have rounded up top tips to keep you, other site workers and the equipment safe.
Here are nine heavy equipment construction safety tips:
1. Proper Training:
Training of the operator is crucial when it comes to heavy equipment construction safety tips. Before you mount a piece of equipment, make sure that you know how it is operated. You must adequately be trained and certified by a professional body to be a professional operator.
It is through training that the operator learns the main safety tips as well as review the manufacturer’s operation manual. Proper preparation also helps to minimize risks for accidents and injuries.
2. Always Wear Protective Gear:
Whether you are an operator and a ground controller, you must always wear protective gear. The general rule for construction sites is wearing a hard hat, goggles, boots, gloves, and more when working. Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) is highly recommended when operating heavy machinery. That is one of the crucial safety tips that can help minimize most of the accidents in the construction site.
3. Always Observe Blind Spot:
As an operator, you must be 100 percent sure that there is no one behind or in front of their blind spots before moving. This is one of the areas that most of the accidents occur with heavy machinery.
The blind spot is usually an area that the operator’s vision is limited due to the obstruction by the equipment. Today, most of the machine come with digital cameras to monitor the spots. So make use these cameras to improve your safety and that of other site workers.
4. Constant Communication:
Due to their size, most of the heavy equipment is assigned a ground controller to help the operator. As an operator, you must ensure that you are in constant communication with the people on the ground. Use two-way radio for effective communication.
If the receiver is not available, then hand signal has also been found to work well in the construction site. Check out for signs such as safety cones to guide your movement.
5. Getting On And Off Equipment:
Most of the accidents and injuries by heavy equipment usually happen when getting on and off the machines. That is why you need to be very cautious when mounting and dismounting equipment. So when entering and exiting the cabin, follow the recommended steps.
If there is a ladder, do not try to use shortcuts. Avoid jumping when getting off the equipment. Clear your boots and gloves off the mud to avoid falls from slipping.
In addition, prevent toe or finger holding. Use a firm grip with both hands when mounting and dismounting.
6. Update Worker Training:
Workers must be trained regularly to enhance their awareness while in the construction site. For the operators, they should be prepared when a new machine model is introduced, or some features have been added to the equipment.
The company should also hold regular safety meeting in various departments and more so for the operators. The proper use of parking cones for automobiles must be insisted
7. Always Wear Seat Belt:
When operating heavy equipment, always belt up. Like other automobiles, these machines usually make movements that can make it hard to work effectively.
What if the tool creates an unexpected move and you press the wrong button? That is why every operator must wear a seat belt before they can start operation. The seat belt also helps to keep the operator safe in case of an accident.
8. Observe The Load Limit:
Last but not least is the equipment payload. You must not exceed the payload that is described by the manufacturer’s manual.
The manual provides maximum load the equipment can handle and should not be exceeded. Otherwise, you will be exposing yourself and site workers around you to danger.
9. Overhead and Underground Hazards:
Before you start working, check the Jobsite for underground utilities and overhead obstructions. Most important, check for the power lines because they are some of the most hazardous obstacles in the construction site.
Most of the standard underground utilities include sewer, gas, water and electrical wires. You can have parking cones or paints to mark them. Identifying these obstructions and services help the operator to play safe.
Heavy equipment is crucial in the construction, but they must be operated with a lot of care. Whether you are an operator or site worker, these heavy equipment construction safety tips must be observed. They will help you minimize risk for site accidents and injuries.