Working with or around heavy equipment is a common part of the workday for many of us. If you work around this equipment every day, it can be very easy to lose sight of the potential dangers. While it is ok to get used to being around this equipment, you never want to forget that it does have the potential to cause serious injuries.
At U.S. Standard Products, we are well aware of the potential hazards that can come with working around heavy equipment. That is why we do what we can to stress the importance of workplace safety. In this post, we are going to look at some of the most important points concerning heavy equipment safety.
All operators should have the necessary heavy equipment training. This should include classroom work and practical hands-on training. Operators should learn safety recommendations, potential hazards to look out for, safety features and awareness when operating the vehicle. Lessons should cover the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to use and wear when operating the equipment. Operators should also learn PPE safety and how to properly use the PPE.
Beyond the initial training to learn how to operate the machinery, workers should have regular refreshers. In some cases, this might be a step to remind and reinforce proper safety procedures, but in other cases, it might be necessary to update workers on newer safety information or to maintain certifications.
Startup and Shutdown Procedures
One of the top heavy equipment safety tips is to have standardized startup and shutdown procedures. This should include things like how to mount and dismount the equipment, testing the operation of different parts of the equipment and developing a daily inspection checklist to make sure the equipment is in good working order and ready to use.
The team at U.S. Standard Products considers awareness to be one of the most important parts of heavy equipment safety. Operators should be taught to exercise proper caution and how to keep an eye out for potential hazards. They should also be aware of any blind spots the equipment may have and how to protect the safety of others who may be in the work area.
Beyond the awareness of the operator, the awareness of other workers is critical for heavy equipment safety. Workers should be made aware when a piece of heavy equipment is in operation. In some cases, this may necessitate setting up warning cones or caution tape to prevent people from entering the area when the machine is in operation.
Follow the Intended Use
Each piece of equipment has intended uses. Heavy machinery should never be used for a purpose for which it is not intended and operators should avoid overloading equipment. Follow the recommended guidelines of the equipment and do not try to use a piece of equipment in a way that is outside its intended purposes. You might need to wait for a new piece of equipment to complete the job, but it can go a long way toward preventing accidents.
Seatbelts and Harnesses
Many pieces of heavy equipment come with seatbelts and harnesses. These should not be viewed as optional safety features. If the vehicle rolls or tips over, the seatbelt or harness will keep you in the cab and this could prevent injury or death.
Beyond wearing the seatbelt or harness, operators should always wear the recommended PPE equipment for heavy machinery. This could include things like a hard hat, gloves, eye protection or ear protection.
Heavy equipment safety should not be treated as a hassle or a burden. It doesn’t take much for some of these machines to cause serious injuries or possibly even death. By taking the time to teach workplace safety, you can protect your workers and prevent costly accidents.