Onsite equipment operation can put operators at high risk for injury, no matter their skill or experience level. In fact, it was reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that in just one year, 8,450 amputations were performed due to occupational injuries caused by machine operation. To significantly reduce the risk of worker injury, it is imperative that employers make equipment operation as safe as possible on their job sites. While there is always risk for injury, there are certain measures you can take to eliminate a substantial amount of risk in your operations. To give you a better idea of how you can start developing a plan for safer equipment operation, we’ve provided the following five safety tips to help you get started!
- Safety equipment
Safety equipment is a vital component of any workplace, especially for onsite equipment operations. To increase the safety of your workers, facilitate and enforce the use protective clothing and gear. Goggles should always be supplied and used to protect your workers’ eyes. Depending on the type of equipment you operate on your site, you may want to use full face goggles. It is also imperative that your employees wear gloves and closed toe shoes. Hard hats are, of course, another important item to include in the safety gear you provide your workers with. You will also want to include ear protection, dust masks, safety signs, and first aid kits.
Workers face fewer hazards when they have the proper training and information necessary to operate the machinery onsite. Employers need to provide employees with training, offer instruction manuals, and make certain that each employee can effectively operate their equipment before allowing them to work independently.
3. Driving and Operating
Before your employees operate any equipment, it is important that you make sure that it has been properly inspected and serviced. Training your employees to thoroughly check surroundings and confirm full clearance before moving or backing up will also prevent accidents. It is important that your employees know to never leave a machine on an inclined surface with the engine running and never allow additional riders on equipment that does not permit them.
4. Maintenance and Repair
When gear is under repair, place a sign saying “Under Repair” in the seat, remove the start key, or lock out controls. Remind your workers to stop engines during refueling and shut off equipment before making repairs. It will also be important to carefully inspect all used construction equipment before putting it to work to ensure that it has been properly maintained and is ready for safe operation.
5. Parking and Security
Remind your workers to always lower allocates and set the parking brake before dismounting the equipment. Be sure that they are securing the equipment when finished for the day, making sure it is clear of foot traffic. If it is not clear, they will need to mark it with glares or red lights and lock it up.
Your employees need proper training, safety evaluated work areas, proper safety equipment and effective operation procedures to operate industrial machinery and high-tech equipment. Safety is always the most important objective when operating heavy equipment. Now that you know how you can create a safety plan, it’s time to get to work! Start by developing policies, ordering necessary safety equipment, and updating your workers’ training as well as your machine maintenance.