Monday, 11 August 2014

Heavy Equipment Safety Warnings

Operator Training

Safeguarding heavy equipment operators starts with right training. Training should contain formal (classroom-type) instruction, demos by the trainer, practical exercises executed by the trainee, and an evaluation of the operator’s performance in the workplace.

A common category of injury connected with heavy equipment consists of mounting and dismounting vehicles. The training offered should highlight using the 3-point contact rule: Each operator mounting or dismounting a vehicle must retain contact with the vehicle by two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand until securely in the cab or on the ground.

Safety Rules

To avoid complaints, the agency must correspondingly launch a set of safety rules and anticipations for operators when operating heavy equipment. The following is a incomplete list of rules and safe work practices that must be remembered by employees. Axis Capital Group, Singapore, a company is servicing many Southeast Asian countries such as KL Malaysia, Beijing China, Jakarta Indonesia and many more, requires proper training from job applicants, they added this list to ensure that all aspects of safety are addressed for heavy equipment operators.

Before operating:

  • Provide operator manuals for equipment operators and vehicle maintenance employees to review
  • Ensure that operators wear appropriate clothing and protective equipment (hearing protection, work gloves, sturdy work shirt and pants, safety footwear, reflective vests, hard hat, etc.)
  • Establish hand signals (if ground workers are present)
  • Conduct regular vehicle inspections (use a daily sign in/inspection sheet)
  • Make sure equipment has a rollover protective structure (ROPS)
  • Fill tank with fuel when the equipment is cool with the engine off (no smoking)
  • Inspect steps, handrails, pedals, grab irons, and cab floor for debris or defects

During operation:

  • Always wear seatbelts
  • Check controls for proper operation (including backup alarms)
  • Check the work area for obstacles, holes, overhead utility lines, etc.
  • Have the utility service provider identify underground cables and supply lines before digging
  • When working on slopes, operate up and down the face of the slope instead of across the face
  • Never jump off of or onto the equipment (use 3-point contact rule)
  • Never exit a running vehicle (turn the vehicle off if the operator must leave the cab)

Exiting the vehicle:

  • Park on level ground
  • Relieve pressure from all hydraulic controls
  • Wait for all motions to stop, then safely dismount the vehicle using 3-point contact rule
  • Remove the key from unattended vehicles

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