What are heavy equipment operators safety tips? Over 20,000 workers are harmed in work zones each year during road construction alone. A hundred more people have died as a result of the accident. Rollovers, backovers, crashes, and fires are common causes. Contact with equipment is the cause of 35% of these heavy equipment incidents. Many of these incidents may have been averted if simple safety precautions had been taken.

The frequency of heavy equipment-related injuries and fatalities is on the rise. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) suggests the following heavy equipment operators safety tips to help reduce heavy equipment-related incidents:

Keep your eyes peeled for blind spots.

Before backing up, heavy equipment operators must be very confident that no one or nothing is behind them. To avoid blind spots, the operator must occasionally exit his machine and walk to the back to inspect the area. Mirrors don’t always provide you a full 360-degree view. The few seconds it takes to get off the machine and look around could save a life (for more on blind spot safety, check out Safe Backing: Safety in Reverse).

Maintain Consistent Contact

Heavy equipment operators must keep constant communication with one another, the ground crew, and their supervisors. At the moment, the best way to achieve this is through two-way radios (learn about Radio Etiquette for Safe and Effective Communication).

Always use your seat belt.

It is critical to use seat belts in all vehicles. This is as true for big machinery as it is for automobiles and trucks. Wearing a seat belt helps the driver from being flung from the car if it rolls. Seat belts are a lifesaver. As part of the laws for worker protective gear, employers must supply proper seat belts in heavy equipment (if they don’t, see How to Refuse Unsafe Work).

When mounting and dismounting, use the Three-Point Rule.

A number of operators have been injured or died as a result of irresponsible mounting and dismounting of heavy equipment. Jumping from or onto heavy equipment is not a good idea. Maintain three-point contact by mounting or dismounting safely with two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand (learn more in this Safety Moment on Three-Point Contact).

Load and Unload in a Safe Manner

Make sure your heavy equipment is situated on level ground before loading or unloading. The car will be less likely to roll or slide as a result of this. Someone should function as a spotter to ensure that no one is standing too close to your loading or unloading area.

Conduct a pre-work hazard assessment.

Conduct a visual check for overhead and underground threats, such as cables, gas lines, and hydro wires, before beginning work on a site. All of these should be marked for identification. When subsurface barriers are close, dig with a shovel. Set up barriers wherever holes are dug to prevent workers or visitors to the job site from falling into them by accident.

Avoid a Sudden Start-Up

Before doing repair on heavy equipment that could cause injury or death if it started up unexpectedly, the vehicle must be rendered inoperable by disconnecting the power source.

Specific techniques and procedures for turning down equipment are required under OSHA’s lockout tagout requirements. These methods detach the machine from its power source, preventing a potentially dangerous start-up during repair. Employers can create lockout tagout programs that are tailored to their specific workplace needs.

heavy equipment operators safety tips

Be aware of and adhere to load limits.

For the equipment setup, be aware of the load restrictions in terms of size and weight. Ascertain that the load is properly secured with the appropriate attachments. Regularly inspect the rigging for fraying or breakage using a visual inspection. Make sure personnel are safely out of the way before shifting a load.

Perform daily inspections

Perform a daily inspection before utilizing heavy equipment. Make a checklist on paper or on your computer. Look for cracked or broken hoses, undercarriage abnormalities, leaking fluids, and stress spots as you walk around the equipment. Check the tire pressure and fluid levels. Report any problems to maintenance once the checklist has been completed.

Recognize and Accept Your Physical and Emotional Limitations

Physical, mental, and emotional skills vary by individual and evolve with age and experience. Never place yourself in a situation where you are physically, psychologically, or emotionally incapable of doing a task for your own or your coworkers’ safety. Let your worries be known. When you’re working in a high-stress environment, you should be extra cautious. Inquire about more specific instructions. Make a request for a spotter. Request that a more experienced operator finish a certain task.

It’s critical that you arrive at work alert, calm, productive, and upbeat. Workers who are worried, preoccupied, depressed, or furious are more likely to make incorrect decisions, which might result in fatalities or injuries. If you want assistance, please contact your supervisor. To avoid workplace mishaps, it is vital to be a part of a positive, productive work environment.

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