Heavy equipment is ubiquitous on many worksites. While it can help employees accomplish tasks efficiently, heavy machinery can also create a risk of accidents and injuries. Enforcing safety procedures is critical to prevent equipment rollovers and to keep workers from being struck or crushed by vehicles.
Machinery Safety Features and Maintenance
Equipment operators should wear seat belts whenever using heavy equipment. Top-loading vehicles should have a cab shield or another form of protection for the operator. Rollover Protective Structures in heavy machinery can prevent many accidents.
All heavy equipment should be properly maintained and regularly inspected. If a piece of machinery needs to undergo maintenance or repairs, follow lockout/tag-out procedures.
All workers who operate heavy equipment should receive necessary training and certifications, as well as periodic retraining and refresher courses. Employees should have access to the operator’s manual for each piece of equipment they may have to use.
Visibility and Communication
Poor visibility contributes to many workplace accidents. Before starting to use heavy equipment, operators should adjust the mirrors to account for blind spots and check to make sure that other employees are clear of the area. All ground workers should wear clothing designed for high visibility and avoid equipment in blind spots. If workers need to approach machinery or move through an area, they should catch the attention of the operator and make eye contact first. If employees have to work at night, make sure all work areas are well lit.
Plan projects so that employees will be able to maneuver equipment without backing up often and so that workers performing other tasks won’t be so close to heavy equipment that they could be in harm’s way. Restrict access in a zone around heavy machinery to prevent accidents.
Use spotters to communicate with workers who are operating heavy machinery and who may not be able to see the area around them due to blind spots. Spotters should wear brightly colored clothing and should be positioned far enough from equipment that the operator will be able to see them at all times. Spotters should be trained to use hand signals to communicate with equipment operators to warn them of hazards and to give instructions to prevent accidents.
Keep Your Employees Safe
On any job site, worker safety should always be of paramount importance. Following safety procedures and using protective equipment can prevent accidents and save lives. You should also have first aid kits readily available so any injuries can be treated before an ambulance arrives. Respond Systems offers worker training classes and first aid supplies and personal protective equipment. Place your order today.