Heavy machinery is on virtually every construction project, and it can be a major hazard when not used correctly. There are numerous ways workers can be hurt when working with or near heavy equipment, including crushing incidents and rollovers.

The following heavy equipment safety tips can help workers stay productive and facilitate an accident-free job site.

Proper training

Employees must be trained on the correct procedures to safely run all pieces of equipment they will be using. Training should be carried out as a mixture of classroom and hands-on instruction. Subjects that ought to be covered include personal protective equipment (PPE), hazard identifications, safety measures of the equipment and safe usage of the equipment.

Employees should be educated on how to properly mount and dismount the equipment, as well as the proper start up techniques. Workers should also have a clear understanding of each piece of equipment’s capacity for lifting loads and the best practices for lifting loads.

Retraining and refresher courses should be scheduled as needed, particularly if an employee is seen working unsafely or using equipment for a un-intended purpose. Trained employees are the only ones who should be permitted to operate heavy equipment.

Regular inspections

Heavy equipment needs to be visually inspected prior to each use to make certain it’s in a safe, functioning condition. Tires and tracks should be checked for wear and damage, and fluids like engine oil should be filled to proper amounts. Hydraulic hoses, buckets and other parts need to be inspected for cracks and damage. All attachments should be checked to make sure they are securely locked into position.

When equipment is turned on, the operator should ensure the lights, gauges and any alarms are all in working order. If the cab or operator seat rotates, it should be checked to ensure it moves in all directions.

Employees need to be told equipment that isn’t working correctly or appears damaged should never be used, as this could be a significant safety issue or damage the machine further.

Promote good communication

Developing safety procedures and policies for all your heavy machinery and effectively communicating them can save lives, reduce injuries and even save the company money. Speak to employees who are not working with safety procedures in mind, and ensure they understand all the policies that pertain to the equipment they are using.

Truly put safety first

Many companies say they put safety first, but when managers are up against hard deadlines – safety protocols suddenly go out the window.

There are always deadlines to be met, and deadlines will almost always be impending. However, one of the biggest causes of accidents on worksites is as a result of people rushing their work. Steering clear of an injury or accident is as easy as taking your time, and it’s up to an employer to establish a safe and smart culture that truly puts the well-being of workers ahead of meeting deadlines.

At Action Group Staffing, we work with our clients to put the safety of workers first. If you’re looking to work with a proactive staffing partner, please contact us today.

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