Heavy equipment safety – what does that have to do with you? Plenty, if you work around construction sites or even encounter them in your neighborhood.
Mobile machines such as backhoes, front-end loaders, compactors and cranes take a great deal of training, planning and skill to operate safely. Even staying safe in the vicinity of this equipment takes great attention. Many pedestrians and motorists have been killed in collisions with heavy equipment.
DON’T BE BLINDSIDED
One reason for these incidents is that most heavy equipment have a blind spot where the operator cannot see some of the surroundings. The person on foot or behind the wheel of an automobile may assume the operator knows he or she is there. But this assumption can get people killed.
When an unauthorized person gets near heavy machinery, there is also the chance of being struck by the load or an extension of the equipment. Never walk under an elevated load and always wear the required hardhat if you work in these zones. A swinging hook on a hoist or debris falling from above can cause a fatal head injury. There is also the chance of getting caught between two pieces of heavy equipment.
Heavy equipment operators need to know the limitations of their machines and only operate them if properly trained. They must also continually check their surroundings to ensure that nobody is in the danger zone. Performing “circle checks” prior to moving machinery is a wise habit to form.