Almost every building job necessitates the use of heavy machinery. Unfortunately, if not utilized appropriately, they can be exceedingly harmful. When operating on or around heavy machinery, workers are frequently wounded by rollovers, accidents, and being stuck in or between mishaps.
To stay productive and maintain an accident-free job site, use these safety recommendations when working with heavy equipment on the construction site:
Training for Equipment Operators
Workers should be instructed on how to safely use all of the equipment they will be working with. Classroom and practical hands-on learning should be used to perform training. Safety, hazard detection, equipment safety features, and safe heavy equipment maneuvering are all topics that should be discussed.
Workers should be taught how to mount and uninstall equipment safely, as well as how to start it up properly. They should be aware of the lifting loads and load capabilities of the equipment they will be working with. Retraining and refresher courses should be conducted as needed, especially if a worker is seen using equipment in a hazardous or non-functional manner. For any reason, only trained individuals should be authorized to operate the equipment.
Be Aware of Your Environment
When operating heavy equipment, you must be aware of the area you are working in as well as any potential obstructions. Overhead electrical lines should be de-energized, or if that isn’t practicable, barriers should be put up to prevent contact. If you’re excavating, ensure that any underground facilities, such as sewer, water, gas, and electricity, are identified and clearly marked to avoid harming them and causing delays and additional labor.
Workers should be kept out of locations where heavy machinery is in use whenever possible. To avoid hitting other workers, onlookers, or other vehicles or equipment in the area, operators should be conscious of their swing radius, especially when working in tighter places.
Equipment for Entering and Exiting
This should go without saying, but there is a correct and wrong method to mount and remove heavy equipment, depending on the amount of accidents workers sustain each year. Maintain three points of contact when climbing onto equipment, just as you would when ascending a ladder. When entering or exiting the cab, never carry anything with you. To exit, never jump out of the cab or off the equipment.
Entering or exiting machinery that is moving or in use is never a good idea. Make that the equipment is totally turned off, the parking brake is engaged, and any hydraulic pressure is released. To avoid any illegal use, make sure you take the keys with you.
Before each usage, visually inspect heavy equipment to ensure it is in good working order. Check for wear and damage on the tires and tracks. Before starting up the equipment for the first time each day, you should at the very least check fluid levels such as engine oil and hydraulic fluid and oil levels. Check for cracks and deterioration in hydraulic hoses, buckets, booms, and other components. Ensure that all attachments are securely fastened.
When the equipment is turned on, double-check that the lights, gauges, horns, and backup alarms are all operational. Ensure that all arms, shovels, buckets, and other tools are fully extended in all directions. Check to see if the cab can spin in all directions if it does. Never use equipment that isn’t in good operating order or appears to have been damaged. Not only may you end up causing more harm to the machine, but it could also pose a serious safety risk if not addressed before usage.
Only use the equipment for its intended purpose.
Each piece of equipment was created with a specific purpose in mind. Excavators are not cranes, and wheel loaders were not designed to transport workers in the bucket and serve as an aerial lift. Select the appropriate piece of equipment for the job at hand and utilize it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Do not overwork or overload your equipment. Keep in mind the equipment’s payload or lift capacity. If what you have isn’t enough to complete the task, you may need to purchase a larger piece of equipment. If you’re lifting something, make sure all of the riggings are in place. When operating machinery, especially on slopes, don’t try to move too fast.
Put your seatbelt on.
Seat Belts aren’t simply for show; they could save your life. The seatbelt will most likely keep you alive if the equipment starts to tilt or rollover. You may feel prompted to leap out of the cab if the equipment begins to tip or rollover. Regrettably, that is the absolute worst thing you could do. The equipment could topple over and fall on you as you try to flee, or you could be trapped or propelled out as it rolls over, gravely injuring yourself.
Maintain a Clear Space
To avoid workers from mistakenly going too close to operating equipment, you should fence off the area with barriers. If you’re moving or operating equipment near workers, engage a spotter and communicate with them by radio or hand signals to keep your blind areas clean. When backing up, this is extremely critical. Yes, the equipment will have backup alarms, but because they are so common on construction sites, they are frequently ignored.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, safety glasses, strong boots, and hard hats at all times.
When servicing or doing maintenance on equipment, use lock-out/tag-out processes. Use chocks to block the wheels and make sure the parking brakes are engaged.
Source: Holt of California
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