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Heavy Equipment Operation Toolbox Talk

Learn the basic safety principles around how to operate heavy equipment on the jobsite.

Heavy Equipment Operation Safety Talk

When using heavy equipment of any sort, there comes risks and hazards. It is important to educate yourself on what these risks are, in order to be as safe as possible. Being an operator of these types of machinery, you should always follow protocol and only use them as intended.

Using these machines in irresponsible manners can lead to injuries or fatalities. It is important that the person who is operating heavy equipment has the proper certifications and training to do so. Within this article, we will discuss the safety steps, the hazards that apply, and what you can do to avoid accidents.

Heavy Equipment Hazards

There are many heavy equipment hazards to look out for. That is why proper training and caution are to be taken when you are using them or around them. Some of the hazards that you should be aware of that can happen are explained below.

1. Leaks

Leaks of any sort can happen with heavy equipment. Most of the time, the areas that you are working on need to be kept tidy. When leaks happen, it is important to always clean up the mess and not leave it.

2. Contact With Power Lines

To be as safe as possible, heavy machinery should be kept at least 10 feet away from any overhead power lines and poles. This is going to help the chances of hitting one at a minimum. You should also keep in mind that you have to be aware of voltages as well. The higher they are the further away from them you should stay.

3. Struck-By Hazards

There are so many records that have been taken about the struck-by instances that happen with heavy machinery. It can cause anything from minor injuries to serious ones, and even fatalities. It is referred to as being in the “line of fire.” The people who are spotting or standing by are at the highest risk for being struck-by heavy equipment.

4. Equipment Failure

Proper inspection of the machine before usage is important to try and keep malfunctions from happening while running the machine. Equipment that fails during use can pose as a risk for injuries. It can be due to hydraulic failures or something else.

5. Property Damage

Property damage while using heavy equipment can happen very easily, that is one reason proper walk around inspections should be done. This is an accident that can be avoided and can make employers have to pay out extra money. The damages can range from cars that were not seen by the operator to buildings being hit.

two excavators on construction site.

How To Safely Operate Heavy Equipment

When you are an operator of a piece of heavy equipment, it is important to do so responsibly. It is a machine that can harm people or do damage to objects if not done correctly. Following the safety practices that have been given to you is advised.

1. Inspection

Doing thorough inspections of your heavy equipment before use is important. Make sure that all areas are working correctly and there aren’t any obvious problems. Construction equipment management software can help with this by providing workers a specific inspection checklist to follow on their mobile device. You should never run equipment if a problem is found, it can result in damage to something or even someone getting hurt.

2. Inspect Surroundings

Before you begin running one of these pieces of equipment, you should do a full walk-around of your machine. This will ensure that everything is intact and there isn’t any debris or objects that are going to be in your way. Walking around the equipment should never be skipped.

3. Training and Certification

Improper use of these machines is dangerous. You can not just assume that you can run them without training. There are certain certifications and training that is needed to operate them. In the training, you will learn the safety protocols and be familiar with the equipment that you are running.

4. Protection

Operating heavy machinery is just like driving a motor vehicle, you should always wear your seatbelt. It can help you in case an incident occurs. There should be seatbelts inside and a rollover protection system as well. Rolling over in one of these machines can be bad, you need to make sure you have the needed protection in the chance that it happens.

5. Clean Work Area

When you are operating your heavy equipment, it is important to make sure that the area you are working in is tidy and clean. Good housekeeping can prevent accidents from happening. When you are trying to work around a lot of objects in your work area, you are more likely to have trouble.

Safety Tips On A Construction Site

Being safe and cautious on a construction site is important. There are so many hazards that can happen, it is important to do what you can to avoid them from happening at all times. By doing this, you are going to do your part to keep yourself and those around you safe. Some helpful tips to remember are:

  • Always wear proper PPE when you are performing jobs that require it. There are specific items that are required for different jobs. Some common ones are gloves, safety glasses, and hard hats.

  • Be careful when getting in and out of heavy equipment. Check for slippery surfaces, use the step ladder provided, and ask for help when needed.

  • When using a ladder be sure to follow protocol. Inspect the ladder before use to make sure there aren't any defects or problems with it.

  • When you are loading or unloading equipment, make sure that you are doing it as safely as possible. A spotter should always be there and proper loading.

  • A clean work area is always safest to avoid accidents from happening. Anything from damage to objects, injuries to bystanders, or injury to the operator can happen in a cluttered or messy work site.

Following the safety regulations are going to reduce the chances of injuries or death. There is always still a chance of accidents happening, even when using all the safety precautions given.

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