Working with heavy machinery can be dangerous. The machinery is heavy, bulky, and has many parts and pieces that are dangerous to people. This is why it’s important to maintain worksite safety around heavy machinery. Accidents can and do happen, but many accidents are completely preventable. Here are some things that you can do to keep your worksite and your workers safe while working with heavy machinery.
Hire Licensed Operators
One of the things that you can do is hire licensed operators. For heavy equipment machinery, the law requires operators to hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) which requires heavy machine operators to complete a course. Once completed, they then have the license to maintain and operate heavy machinery. While mistakes can still happen, a licensed operator is typically safer because they have had the prior training to know how to use the heavy equipment. They adhere to strict guidelines to keep themselves and others safe.
Establish Clear Procedures
For all of your employees, whether they operate on the machines or not, you want to establish clear procedures. Certain situations require lockout/tagout procedures to ensure worker safety. These procedures should be easy to understand by all employees so that they understand the risk the machinery poses and how to avoid injuring themselves or others. For example, establish a procedure for entering and exiting a heavy equipment vehicle. Falls are one of the most common accidents in the workforce, and a simple procedure established can help reduce the risk of an accident.
Teach Employees to Be Cautious
Clear procedures can help maintain safety, but an equally important step is to teach your employees what the hazards are and how to avoid them. Knowing the hazards and exercising caution around them can save the lives of your workers. For example, many heavy equipment vehicles have blind spots. A particularly risky movement operators of heavy equipment vehicles make sometimes is backing up. This is dangerous because it’s practically impossible to see anyone who’s behind the vehicle. Even if a driver has a window to see behind them, sometimes dirt and debris can fall and block that window, making it much more difficult to see. Teach your employees to exercise caution and common sense around the heavy machinery.
Worksites with heavy machinery are hazardous, but you and your employees can be safe. Following guidelines will help you reduce accidents and make your worksite safer for future employees.
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