Safe Ways To Operate Heavy Machinery On Construction Sites
Construction sites use heavy machinery daily. And the utter size and power of these large pieces of equipment make them potentially dangerous to workers. For example, cranes alone lead to 46 deaths yearly in the UK. Other dangers, like electrocution, mechanical failures, equipment overturns, etc., make construction sites very dangerous. Construction workers must know the proper techniques and safety measures to operate heavy machinery effectively and minimise risks. So, here are some safe ways to operate heavy machinery on construction sites.
Inspect equipment before use
Every piece of heavy equipment or machinery needs to be inspected before use. While this point may sound like a no-brainer, you’ll be surprised by how often it is overlooked. Check equipment tires and tracks for signs of wear and tear and ensure hydraulic fluid, engine oil, etc., are at the right levels. If equipment comes with my attachment, ensure they are secured and locked into place to prevent unnecessary and risky movement. Also, check that warning lights, horns, gauges, and alarms on each piece of machinery are working properly.
Ensure that workers stay out of the line of fire
The line of fire in a construction environment refers to the area or space around a piece of heavy machinery where a worker can be hit by a moving object or caught in-between different moving objects. Effective communication and eagle-eye supervision are the best ways to ensure that your workers stay out of these potential areas whenever they operate.
Wear your seatbelts
Seatbelts do not only save lives on the road, but they also do so on when operating heavy machinery too. If your equipment starts to roll over or tip, your seatbelt will give you a high chance of survival. Your body can easily be flung out or trapped in dangerous areas without your seatbelt. And believe it or not, such accidents are more common than you may think on construction sites.
Ensure equipment operator training
Your workers should receive the necessary training on all the right procedures for operating heavy machinery. The training should combine theory or classroom sessions and practical hands-on instruction. Ensure that the training covers general safety, manoeuvring of heavy machinery, hazard identification, and equipment safety features. They should also know how to safely mount and dismount, the loading capacity, and the start-up procedure required for each piece of equipment. Doing this will ensure they understand the machinery they will be using and how to use it safely.
Outsource or hire experts
Sometimes, the equipment operator training can be too expensive and time-consuming, especially if you’re running on a tight schedule. Outsourcing or hiring experts to handle specific aspects of your construction process is a better approach. For example, instead of training your workers on the proper and safe operation of cranes, consider cranes for hire services with already trained labour or experts and leave the tasks for them. This way, you’ll get the necessary equipment and the right people to operate them without casualties.