How To Reduce Potential Risks While Operating Heavy Machinery
If your job and career require you to use heavy equipment, it is crucial to reduce the risk of getting injured in the process. Construction activities such as tearing down buildings and building roads are some examples of work that would require heavy machinery. If you are a manager in any such project, you should acquaint yourself with the capabilities of the equipment you have at your disposal. This article will share with you measures you can take to minimize the risks and dangers exposed to the people working.
It is crucial to instill a culture of safety and to include everyone in this process. Safety measures need to be implemented across all levels in the team or company. Visitors should not be excluded when it comes to safety. You should develop an organized workflow to teach your workers safety even if you are only overseeing a few worksites. With that said, if you’re looking for a supplier for heavy equipment, check out Landmark Tools. Now, let’s get on with the article.
How to organize a safe work area?
Before you begin, you should make a holistic assessment of the team that is involved in the whole operation. It is important to know your team well and understand where they might be lacking in information and education so that you can better cater your strategy to them.
Here are several starting points you could consider when developing your safety plan:
- Divide the administrative workload
- Develop detailed standards of procedures and protocols
- Foster an open conversation environment
- Reduce the number of hazards
However, you might find yourself with hazards you cannot forcibly remove. In that case, do take precautionary measures to mitigate the danger of the hazard should any incident occur.
You should definitely bring everyone up to speed on the latest safety regulations so that they are adhering to the latest protocols and safety standards. Furthermore, the more individuals are aware of the hazards, the more likely they are able to look out and be careful on their own.
In hazardous areas, as it is a very high risk, it is mandatory to put up safety and warning signs. This acts as a form of high-order communication which could potentially reduce the chance of any mishap happening.
Signs can also act as a useful reminder for workers. One example would be to remind them that they need to wear the prescribed protective equipment.
Develop a worker training program
Specific and specialized skid steer training is required before workers are qualified to operate heavy machinery. To create a standardized way of ensuring this would be to implement a certification program. This formalizes the training the workers undergo before operating heavy machinery In the case of any incident, it would be possible to ascertain if the worker in question was sufficiently trained before operating the equipment.
The formalized training will allow instructors to relay to workers important information such as safety features, how to identify hazards while operating the equipment and how to understand safety precautions taken.
It is important to keep the training regular so that the knowledge acquired is constantly refreshed. It allows instructors to identify those who might not get it and thus introduce extra training.
What are some hazards you might encounter?
There are three potential types of hazards: access, mechanical and non-mechanical
Being aware of these hazards will allow you to increase your situational awareness. This would mean that you are more alert and sensitive to your surroundings. Being sharper in this aspect will allow you to drastically reduce the effects of the hazards. It should thus be inculcated into those working on-site and managing the project to develop such a skill as well.
This hazard is when entry to an area is not carefully managed. To address this hazard, one can start with an access control plan. It is a plan where you dictate who has access to what equipment so that you do not run into unforeseen circumstances where individuals who are not qualified are using equipment they are not trained in.
A path site plan can also reduce this hazard. This plan dictates where heavy vehicles and equipment are allowed to move through the construction site. This should be communicated to all stakeholders so that they are aware of where the danger zones are and henceforth avoid them.
Delegating who can go where reduces the risk everyone is exposed to.
A mechanical danger relates to incorrect or unsafe use of equipment, especially when keeping it unused for an extended period of time.
Construction equipment is by design capable of great destruction and construction. They are hefty pieces of metal that can kill a human being if not managed safely.
It is thus important to have safety protocols that everyone is aware of so that they themselves can be situationally aware.
Non-moving components can also cause a lot of danger for workers. One such example would be harmful chemicals and emissions from machinery. The loud noises and sounds generated can potentially result in permanent hearing damage.
Looking out for such hazards should be done routinely before and after usage of the equipment.
Tips to reduce risk when working with heavy machinery
It is important to have safety as an integral part of the working culture and environment. Skipping past safety can very easily put your entire team at risk. This will also allow workers to better understand the need for safety precautions and they will not only be simply following protocols and going through the motion.
- Utilize the latest technology - Technology can be a great asset to streamline and reduce human errors
- Educate your workers using the operator manuals - The manuals are mandatory readings for operators especially as only in this document would they get an in-depth review of the machine that they are working with
- Stay a safe distance from heavy machinery. - When a heavy machine is in use, all individuals should stay a healthy distance from it.
- Hazards can come from below and above
- Be aware of where you might not see things coming
- Always wear protective equipment
With that, we’ve come to the end of this article. When operating heavy machinery, it’s of utmost importance to instill a culture of safety to ensure that no one gets hurt on the job.