Earth moving equipment is among the heaviest, most powerful machinery used in any project on the planet. While earth moving equipment hire is usually a quick, incident-free process, using the equipment can be a totally different ballgame.
Many accidents that occur in the construction site involve this equipment. To avoid any nasty incidents and fatalities while handling earthmoving equipment, here are five safety rules you need to observe.
Take Care of Blind Spots
Before you start to operate a piece of equipment, such as excavator hire here in NZ, it’s crucial to make sure that there’s no one behind you. You may need to get out of the machine to check. Where your vision is limited, ask a spotter to guide you.
If people are going to be working around you during the day, inform them of your blind spots, so they keep a safe distance. Ask them always to make sure you see them before they move close to the equipment.
Communicate Clearly and Constantly
Stay in constant communication with everyone working around you. You may need to use a two-way radio. Where two-way radios are not available, consider using clearly understandable hand signals. Usually, your spotter will be well trained on how to communicate using hand signals effectively.
If you’re the team leader, be sure to touch upon communication every time you have a safety meeting and reinforce the point every chance you get.
Observe Load Limits
Different machines have varying load limits, and you need to remember to stick to those limits throughout the day, especially if you’ll be operating various machines. Avoid overloading equipment as the machine could topple and cause injuries.
While lifting any loads, make sure that they’re properly secured with appropriate rigging attachments. Conduct regular inspections to make sure that the rigging attachments are in excellent working shape.
Wear Your Seatbelt
This sounds like a no-brainer, but you’ll be surprised how many people ignore this simple yet highly important safety tip. You have absolutely no excuse for not wearing a seatbelt when operating earthmoving machinery. In case the equipment rolls over, a seatbelt could save your life.
Additionally, a seatbelt holds you firmly in the seat while you drive on rough terrain, keeping you comfortable as you operate the equipment.
Be Careful When Mounting and Dismounting
Falls while mounting and dismounting equipment are common causes of injuries and fatalities in the construction site. Be sure to maintain a 3-point contact as you enter or exit the cab. That means using your two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand to support yourself as you climb on or off the machinery.
Avoid jumping onto or from the equipment at all costs. In case the steps or handholds are damaged, be sure to repair or replace them promptly.
Accidents while using earthmoving equipment can happen from time to time, but that does not mean that there’s nothing you can do to avert them. A good place to start is by putting in place up-to-date safety procedures that will keep both you and other people on the site safe.