Construction worksites are a dangerous place to be. Work-related deaths are a real possibility when working in construction, and heavy machinery often can be one of these tragedies’ leading causes. Countless tasks can cause injuries on a construction site, such as falls from scaffolding/high places, hazards in excavation jobs, and electrical mishaps. Keeping everyone on the worksite aware of the most up-to-date safety measures is necessary to any construction site’s success.
One of the often-overlooked dangers on a construction site is the heavy machinery used for various projects. Thirty-five percent of injuries on the job are caused by machine accidents every year, as well as fourteen percent of deaths on site. As one of the leading causes of injuries to equipment operators, implementing simple and easy ways to reduce the risk will ensure worksite safety remains top of everyone’s mind.
Here are some steps you can take to ensure that safety is the top priority when operating heavy machinery:
Invest in training your employees
Investing in training is one of the most important ways to increase the safety of your machine operators. These machines are highly technical, and each one has its quirks and attributes. Understanding the equipment and moving parts before you even put your hands on the control will help you avoid disaster.
Monitor equipment usage
Each machine we work with day to day has thousands of moving parts, and each needs to be in its peak condition before it can do its job. Monitoring equipment usage, maintenance schedules, and regular upkeep of your machines can help avoid accidents and injuries. Utilizing digital tools makes this an easy process to maintain and makes these types of injuries highly avoidable.
Take your time on jobs
Rushing on the job is sure to lead to accidents. Unfortunately, it is one of the most significant causes of accidents on construction sites. Letting the stress of a deadline put your worker’s safety in jeopardy. Avoiding an injury or accident is as easy as taking your time and making sure you are being safe and thoughtful about the machines you’re using.
PPE is as essential on the equipment as on the ground
While working around moving machinery, wear personal protective equipment that is appropriate for particular hazards. For example, loose-fitting clothing may become entangled in rotating spindles, or a protective glove may become caught. These risks require alertness and continued attentiveness when in use.
Communication is key
When working with heavy machinery, worksite communication is just as crucial as PPE. Creating safety policies and procedures for your machines and ensuring you continuously communicate them—can save lives and money in the long run.
Keep the area clean
Keeping the area clean and clear around where a piece of equipment is working is essential in maintaining site safety. If you are moving or operating equipment near workers, use a spotter, using radio or hand signals to communicate, to keep your blind spots clear. These measures are essential when backing up.
Know the limits of your machines
While these machines seem limitless, it is crucial to be aware of varying equipment load limits when operating various machines. When lifting objects with a machine, make sure loads are secure with the proper rigging attachments.
Enter and exit the machines safely
When climbing onto equipment, always maintain ‘three points of contact’ just as you do when climbing a ladder. Never carry anything with you as you enter or exit, and don’t jump down from machinery. Instead, use the provided steps or a step ladder, etc.
Use machinery as intended
Each piece of equipment performs a specific task. Excavators are not cranes, and wheel loaders were not made to carry workers in the bucket or used as a lift. Pick the right piece of equipment for the task at hand and use it as the manufacturer intended.
Construction sites can be hazardous places, and accidents can happen at any time. Keeping your equipment in good working order and everyone’s knowledge of the equipment’s safety is a surefire way to make sure you are protecting yourself and your coworkers. If you stay safe, pay attention and understand your equipment, your job site will remain hazard-free and rewarding.
At Traqspera, we take the safety of you and your employees seriously. Traqspera has a number of modules and features that are designed to maintain, monitor, and track equipment usage and ensure safety compliance. If you would like to set up a demo of our platform, you can request one here.