Operating heavy equipment can look exciting, but it can come with potential risks. Demolition and construction industries often put workers in a scary position. Thus, it's essential to remain safe when handling heavy equipment and machines.
If you're an equipment manager or a fleet owner, you'll need to be knowledgeable about the capabilities of your machinery. Equipment and machines that are not utilized properly can put you and your employees at risk.
As such, here are ways to keep you safe while operating heavy equipment:
- Get the Right Training for Equipment Operation
Before you operate any heavy equipment, you should first undergo safety equipment operation training. You should learn and become well-versed in the proper procedures of operating machines.
Training is usually done with a mix of both hands-on and classroom teaching. Topics such as the following will help you throughout your job:
- Determine the equipment and security features you need, which helps you buy the right equipment from heavy equipment suppliers like SmartCast Heavy Equipment.
- Learn proper handling and maneuvering of every piece of heavy equipment.
- Know the right way of mounting and dismounting equipment.
- Become adept at the appropriate method of lifting loads, each machine's maximum capacity, and proper start-up steps.
Even though you may have completed such training, you should also consider a refresher course every so often to retrain what you may have learned. This is especially useful if you notice that one of your employees is mishandling a piece of equipment.
- Remove Blind Spots
Another safety tip you should always apply is to remove blind spots. Make sure that nothing is behind the heavy equipment before you back it up.
To do this, you may need to get out from the machine to make sure that nothing is blocking the way. This is because mirrors don't give accurate reflection all the time.
The span of vision may be compromised when it's reflected in a mirror, too. Sure, exiting the machine might take more time, but saving a life and preventing an accident is more important.
- Know Your Surroundings
Also, you must carefully observe your surroundings, particularly if there are people nearby. Don't assume any person knows the dangers of heavy equipment and the importance of getting out of the scene.
Have the initiative to always double-check the surroundings before running a piece of machinery. Thus, the surest way to avoid serious harm is to foresee dangers before they even occur.
- Always Wear Your Protective Gear
Aside from your training, you should also wear protective gear before operating a machine. Protective gears are designed to protect you against injuries when running a piece of heavy equipment. Some of the safety gears you can wear are Fall gear, gumboots, dust masks, hard hats, and goggles.
By wearing complete safety gear, you can minimize the dangers of experiencing an accident while on the job. For instance, wearing a helmet will prevent the impact on your head when you accidentally fall or slip while climbing into your machine.
Imagine if the machine is running and you accidentally fall off from it, and you're not wearing a helmet. It'll cause a big problem for the company.
- Keep Lines of Communication Open
Likewise, operating a machine requires you to communicate as often to your colleagues. Whether you're simply adjusting your position or backing up, you must make sure that it's entirely safe to do so.
Do so by having spotters and communicating regularly with them. Every spotter must have a two-way radio so they can easily do communicate with you and vice versa. However, if you don't have a radio, you can do so with hand signals to communicate with one another.
Besides guiding you, your spotter will be responsible for clearing your surroundings and redirecting pedestrians or other people on the job site. That way, you won't have to get out of the machine every now and then. Most importantly, you should always radio your spotter whenever you plan to make a move with your machine.
- Always Wear Seatbelt
Lastly, don't forget to wear your seatbelt. If your equipment begins to upset, your best aid will be the seat belt. Unfortunately, many incidents regarding heavy equipment are the operator's failure to wear the seat belt.
You must wear the seat belt despite the job being an easy one. You never know when accidents will happen. Wearing a seatbelt will lessen the impact of bouncing even while in normal operations.
Your role as a heavy equipment operator is essential, and you should be proud of it. However, you must never forget that aside from the responsibility to be productive for your company, you must also secure your safety as an employee.
With the valuable tips shared in this article, you can potentially prevent accidents. It would be best if you never ignored even the simplest safety measures as they could endanger your life.