Using heavy machinery and equipment is a day-to-day reality for those working on construction projects. Unfortunately, heavy machines and equipment can be extremely dangerous and have been known to cause multiple accidents and fatalities.
The best way to prevent these accidents is to take certain precautions. Here are some ways you can protect yourself and your workers from injuries and accidents related to the use of heavy equipment:
Avoid freak accidents by making sure that heavy equipment is parked properly, especially when workers take long breaks from construction. This will avoid exposing your machinery to harsh weather. If you don’t have a big enough place, many heavy transport services also offer storage services for big machinery.
Everyone operating heavy machinery must be trained on the safety protocols and proper procedures to operate the equipment they will be working with. Ensure that all your workers have undergone both classroom and practical training before allowing them to use any heavy machinery. Training topics should include safety, operation, hazard identification, safety features of the equipment, and protocol in case of emergencies.
Conduct retraining and refresher courses whenever necessary, such as when your workers mishandle the equipment.
Before mounting and operating a machinery or equipment, ensure that a thorough inspection has been conducted. The machine must be completely safe, fully-functioning, and must have no damage at all before being used.
Whether you’re operating the machine or just near it, always wear the necessary safety equipment. As a general rule, hardhats must be worn in the construction site at all times. Safety goggles also help in making sure that your eyes are protected from flying objects.
Keeping your seatbelt on can spell the difference between life and death. Should the equipment you are operating malfunction or tip or roll over, having your seatbelt on significantly increases your chances of staying alive. Furthermore, your seatbelt can keep you in place, preventing you from getting jostled or flung around inside the equipment.
Whenever you are operating heavy machinery, you have to be absolutely certain that there is no one or nothing behind you or in your blind spots, even if this means having to stop and dismount your vehicle to check. Many construction site accidents occur because machinery operators fail to clear their surroundings before moving their vehicle.
To avoid this, assign designate spotters who can safely direct and guide the operators and communicate danger to passerbys and other workers through the proper hand signals.
Even for the experienced, operating and handling heavy machineries is a stressful job. Do not allow yourself into a situation that you are uncomfortable with or unfit or unqualified for, regardless of instruction. Stay calm, focused, and alert throughout your shift to make sure that no preventable accidents occur. Communicate any discomfort with your superiors, request for additional training, and always keep an eye on your health.
Working in construction can be very risky but if you are armed with the right equipment and the necessary skills and knowledge, you can significantly reduce the danger you are exposed to.