1. There are certain blind areas.

When operating heavy machinery, operators must be very certain that no one is behind them or in their blind zones, even if that means stepping out of the machine and checking. If your vision is limited, have a spotter guide and direct you from a safe, visible location. Make sure individuals working around you for the day are aware of your blind spots and that they make eye contact with you before approaching the equipment. On all sites, high-visibility vests are required.

2. Communication

Maintain continual communication with those that work with you. The optimum mode of communication is a two-way radio; if it is not available, utilize hand signals from a spotter who has been adequately trained. Every safety meeting should include a discussion of communication with operators, which should be reinforced by the foreman on site.

3. Use of seatbelts

Seatbelts are just as critical in heavy equipment as they are in a moving vehicle. There is no justification for not wearing it at all times except laziness. It will not only save your life in the event of a rollover, but it will also keep you firmly in your seat when driving on difficult terrain, saving energy and reducing close calls at the end of the day.

4. Installation and Deinstallation

OSHA and other safety organizations have identified falls and stepping on and off as two of the most common causes of harm. This includes entering and exiting a machine’s cab. When going on or off your equipment, it’s a good rule of thumb to keep three points of contact. Never take a leap of faith. Remember that the three-point rule dictates that three of four points of contact with the vehicle be maintained at all times — two hands and one foot, or both feet and one hand. Replace any damaged handholds or steps; it could save you from a catastrophic injury down the road.

5. Equipment for loading and unloading

When loading or unloading your equipment, make sure you’re on level ground. Rollovers and sliding off the low-bed ramps are considerably reduced. If you’re unloading on a busy job site or in a high-traffic area, make sure everyone is out of the way and hire a spotter to help you out.

6. Dangers from Above and Below

All overhead impediments, such as power lines and poor clearance, should be identified and flagged before work begins on any job site. Call 811 to ensure that underground facilities such as water, sewer, gas, and electricity are located and marked with color-coded paint and flags by the relevant department. When approaching the subterranean utility, be cautious and hand dig to reveal it. If you’re going to leave holes for workers or the general public to fall into, make sure there are barriers and snow fencing in place.

7. Lock-out/Tag-out

According to OSHA, employers must train employees and implement procedures to guarantee that before any employee performs service or maintenance on a machine that could cause injury due to an unexpected start-up or release of stored energy, the equipment or energy source must be made inoperative. Pinch points, attachments, and elevated loads are all examples of risks. To avoid any mishaps, picture warnings, locks, and tags should be used.

8. Load Capacity

When running various machines during the day, be mindful of the load restrictions of each one. The load limits might vary dramatically depending on the equipment set-up and size. When using a machine to lift anything, make sure loads are secured with the necessary rigging attachments, and inspect them regularly to verify they are in excellent operating order. When lifting and moving loads, confirm that all workers are at a safe distance, as with most machinery operations.

9. Take a look around. Inspection

Before using the equipment, it should be inspected at least once a day. This entails strolling around with a pre-made component checklist to ensure everything is in working order. Hydraulic hoses, undercarriage, oil levels, stress points, and other components must all be inspected and reported to the maintenance/safety department before the machine may be started. When doing work like this, using a cloud-based mobile device can considerably enhance communication and response time between the operator and the mechanic.

10. Understanding Your Limits

Even for a seasoned veteran, operating heavy equipment may be a difficult profession at times. Regardless of your instructions, never place yourself in a situation where you are uncomfortable. If you’re unsure about operating on a slope or near hazards, get out of the cab and take a look around. Staying calm and awake throughout the day will help you be more productive and create a great working atmosphere for others.

Source : ConstructionEquipment