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Heavy Machinery Operating Tips for a Safer and Efficient Worksite

Heavy machineries are the nucleus of any large scale construction project. It is impossible to build much of our advanced infrastructure without heavy machineries such as tractors, bulldozers, skid loaders, front-end loaders, cranes, etc. However, at the same time, it is inherently dangerous to use these machineries. The sheer weight and size of these machines can lead to deadly consequences, even if there is a small mistake. Heavy equipment accidents cause thousands of fatalities around the world and it is amongst the top ten causes of workplace fatalities.

This article will share some simple yet necessary heavy machinery operating tips that can be handy while operating these beasts. Whether you are putting up a brand-new building, excavating a new job site, or building roads, these common-sense tips will ensure safety as well as efficiency of your worksite.

Operator Training:

First and foremost, please make sure that anyone operating heavy equipment in your worksite is adequately trained and certified. Under no circumstances should you allow an untrained individual to operate the machine, even for simply moving it to a new place.

Any person designated to operate heavy equipment should have a clear understanding of the machine’s working principle, emergency response procedures, and safety instructions to be followed. Seasoned operators often find training to be a boring and unnecessary practice. However, it is the responsibility of the site managers to ensure that monthly or bi-weekly training sessions are conducted to help them brush-up their knowledge and skills.

Regular Inspection:

Please remember that using a damaged machine is always a dangerous proposition. The failure of critical components of a piece of heavy equipment can easily result in serious consequences. For example, if the brakes of a dump truck fail while moving at speed, the surrounding areas may experience serious damage including injury and even death of workers. Similarly, in case of a crane wire failure, the hook load may fall on the ground surface to cause property damage as well as bodily injury.

In order to avoid such accidents, make sure that the equipment operators carry out regular inspection of the fluid levels, brakes, headlights, tires, and other parts. It is also a good idea to hire a trained professional for regular service of the equipment. This will help you maximise the benefits of your investment by prolonging its lifespan.

If you ever need to ship your equipment, it should be inspected and serviced before shipping. Also, choose a shipping company that will take adequate measures to protect the machine from damage during transit.

Slow and Steady:

We all understand the importance of adhering to the timeline of a project. In order to finish projects on time, you may be tempted to rush things while operating heavy equipment. However, please be mindful of the fact that this practice can be counterproductive. When operating heavy equipment, rushing often results in errors that may cost more than the time you save. Moving too quickly or rushing around may also result in safety breaches. Therefore, please keep these things in mind even you have fallen seriously off-schedule in a particular project.

Effective Communication on Job Site:

Proper communication is critical while using any heavy equipment in a project site. Whenever a heavy machinery is occupied and operational, please ensure that all workers in the area are well aware of it. Engage spotters and a construction foreman to make sure that the all workers are kept away from the danger areas around a vehicle.

The responsibilities for communication must be clearly mentioned and understood by all equipment operators. In addition, create comprehensive and clear procedures and policies, safety guidelines, and make everyone well aware of the penalties for breach of these procedures.

Effective and clear on-site communication not only helps avoid delays caused by safety protocol breaches or accidents, but also makes your equipment operators more efficient and enhances workplace safety.

Minimise Employee Distractions:

All construction sites are known to be extremely hazardous places. These sites are characterised by several dangers and obstacles that can easily cause distraction to the machine operators as well as other workers. If you don’t have a “no phones” policy in your worksite, consider implementing a blanket policy covering everyone operating any heavy equipment. Confine phone usage to areas outside the construction site and only to break time.

Awareness of Potential Hazards:

Finally, be vigilant about all worksite hazards that are potentially threatening to the equipment operator, your equipment, or other workers. Be particularly careful of potential threats such as ditches or large drop-offs, scaffolding that may get damaged by heavy machinery, power lines near a front-end loader or a crane, and other such hazards. Mark these kinds of hazards using proper signage best practices and make all your employees aware of them.

If you are looking to purchase or rent any type of heavy equipment, please contact our team at K and G Machinery for the most competitive rates. We also sell refurbished equipment tailored to your requirement.