Heavy Equipment Do’s and Don’ts

From backhoes to excavators, construction workers know how important heavy equipment is on the jobsite. Review the safety basics of heavy equipment with these do’s and don’ts:   

DO: Communicate

Job sites are loud and have many moving parts. When using heavy equipment, it’s imperative everyone on site knows exactly what’s going on to avoid accidents. Two-way radios and hand signals from a trained spotter are effective ways to ensure there are no communication mishaps.

DO: Think Before You Step

Missteps and falls are two of the leading causes of construction accidents. When mounting and dismounting heavy equipment, always have three points of contact with the machine (both feet and one hand, or two hands and one foot). Never jump out of equipment—it’s a serious injury risk.

DO: Inspect Equipment Before Use

Daily inspections of heavy equipment are a must. Before operating machinery, visually assess equipment to make sure it’s in proper working condition. Have a predetermined checklist in place and report any irregularities that may need a further inspection.

DON’T: Ignore Your Surroundings

Know what’s underground and overhead before you operate machinery. There could be visible or non-visible hazards, such as power or utility lines. When operating heavy equipment, double-check your surroundings and blind spots before making any sudden movements. Being aware is imperative to a safe and functional job site.

DON’T: Forget Your Seatbelt

Just like when driving a car, there are zero excuses not to wear a seatbelt when operating heavy machinery. If equipment rolls over or tips, wearing a seatbelt could save your life. It’ll also keep you safely in place when operating equipment on uneven terrain.

DON’T: Push Yourself Too Hard

As always, knowing your physical limits on the job site is crucial. Being overly exhausted or dehydrated can impede proper equipment operation. If you feel like you’ve exerted yourself too much, tell your supervisor immediately. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

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