As the construction industry has evolved, heavy machinery has become increasingly prevalent on modern work sites. However, it can also pose a serious danger to construction workers – about 400 people in America die each year from heavy equipment accidents. Follow these tips to make sure you are always staying as safe as possible around heavy machinery.
As with all construction site practices, learning to use heavy machinery requires extensive training. Safely operating heavy machinery requires a thorough understanding of each piece of equipment. Just like each car has its own quirks, heavy machinery can greatly vary from machine to machine. Practice makes perfect – work closely with experienced machinery operators on site to get a good sense of how the equipment works before trying it yourself.
Regularly Inspect Machines
At least once a day, take the time to visually inspect all machines. The importance of a pre-operation inspection cannot be overstated – even the smallest issue can result in a significant problem. Start by taking a lap around the exterior of the machine and check for anything that looks off, such as low tire pressure, missing bolts, or problems with the undercarriage. Then, take a look inside of the cab to make sure everything looks right. From start to finish, a visual inspection won’t take a lot of time, but it has the potential to save your life.
Keep it Slow and Steady
Some days, construction sites can be very stressful – especially when you’re trying to meet a deadline. However, the urgency you feel to complete a project should not be translated to operating machinery. Even if you’re behind on a project, never skip your daily inspection or speed up the machinery. Rushing can cause errors that will take longer to correct than if they were done right in the first place. And worse, they can cause safety problems that may not be able to be reversed.
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