There are workplace hazards that come with operating heavy machinery. Some examples of this type of equipment are cranes, front-end loaders, skid loaders, bulldozers, forklifts and tractors. Due to the size and weight of these pieces of equipment, they can be very dangerous. In fact, according to OSHA, about 404 people in America die each year in heavy equipment accidents. They also say the failure or misuse of heavy equipment is one of the top 10 causes of workplace fatalities. If you operate heavy machinery, it is important to know what to do and not do to best keep you safe.
Operating Heavy Machinery: Things to Know
The first step to safely operating heavy machinery is to be properly trained. This may be a long, involved process, but it is essential for safety. Each person using this equipment should be trained and certified on using the equipment. Even if it is just on how to do a simple task, training is so important due to the nature of the machines. Regular refresher training is good to do every few weeks.
Take it Slow
Another thing to consider when operating heavy machinery is to take it slow and safe. If you are on a tight deadline to finish a project, you may feel the need to go fast. Do not fall into a trap where you skip safety steps and rush. This could lead to you making mistakes. Employers should not try and rush workers while they are using these heavy machines. Errors when using big, heavy equipment could turn into life threatening mistakes. Rushing is not worth the risk of hurting yourself or someone else.
When operating heavy machinery, it is so important to communicate on the job site. For example, make sure that all workers in the area know when a vehicle is occupied and in use. Have others keep an eye out and keep any dangerous areas around the vehicle clear. Communication also applies to creating clear guidelines for operating procedures. This way everyone is on the same page.
Distractions bring in another dangerous element when operating heavy machinery. Phones and headphones should not be used or allowed while using these heavy machines. Construction sites can be dangerous on their own. There are many hazards, including people moving around. A distracted machinery operator may not pay attention or notice people around them, or other hazards.
By following these guidelines, you will be safer while operating heavy machinery. They are not hard steps to follow, but can make a huge difference in workplace safety.