Across the country there are 6.5 million construction workers at over 250,000 job sites on any given day. With all those workers and heavy equipment operating, there are bound to be injuries and accidents. For many construction companies, maintaining a safe work environment and ensuring workers follow proper procedures is essential to remain competitive.
Whether its major policy changes or bringing attention to small details, ensuring construction equipment safety can help your job site stay up and running at all times.
Getting On and Off Equipment
Getting on and off equipment is the number one cause of injury for machine operators in the construction industry. Workers are jumping off machines from great heights and trying to climb on them while moving, which can lead to slips and falls. All of these situations can easily be avoided if proper measures are taken.
When getting on or off a machine:
- Do not jump off or try to climb on or off while it’s moving
- Make sure gloves and boots are free from mud, dust or anything that can cause slippery conditions
- Be alert and always face the cab when entering or exiting
- Use three-point contact, keeping three of your four limbs on the machine while stepping up or down
- Never carry anything when climbing up or down
Loading and Unloading Equipment
When loading and unloading heavy machinery, it is essential that all personnel involved in the process are properly equipped for the task to avoid accidents and injuries. When unloading heavy equipment:
- Ensure workers are fully trained on all safety measures
- Find a level surface for loading and unloading
- Have at least one spotter present to assist and direct the machine operator
- Do NOT rush this process – taking your time ensures the safety of the equipment and people involved
Know your Machine
Before operating a machine, make sure you are properly trained to run it. Do not operate a machine that you are unfamiliar with, it can lead to major accidents or equipment malfunctions. Before using a machine:
- Inspect each machine before you use it and ensure there are no threatening defects
- Be aware of the equipment’s blind spots and know how to work with them
- If you need a spotter to help move a machine, ask, there is no shame in taking extra safety measures
- Know the weight limit and do not exceed it. Too much weight can drastically increase the chances of an accident, rollover or breakdown
Dress the Part
An employee’s attire may seem like a frivolous concern, but in reality it can help prevent injuries and accidents. When workers come to the job site, they should wear:
- Long pants and shirts that protect skin from flying debris and harsh sun rays
- Bright orange or yellow vests and pants to stand out in heavy traffic areas
- Steal-toe boots to prevent crushed toes or a broken foot from falling debris
- Hard hats to reduce injuries from falling or flying debris
- Seatbelts when operating any machinery
The machines being made today are safer than some people could have ever imagined, but that doesn’t mean accidents can’t happen. Employees need to take action and continue to follow the proper steps to keep themselves and everyone around them safe.
For information on construction safety, visit the OSHA website.
Have any good tips we didn’t mention? Post in a comment below, we would love to get your input!