Safety is critical whenever construction equipment is involved. Fleet owners and managers must be familiar with the heavy machinery and know what tasks the equipment can perform. Without this knowledge, accidents can happen, but you can take steps to ensure workplace safety.
7 Tips for Safe Construction Equipment Operation
Some of these tips may seem redundant, but each goes a long way toward improving safety on construction and other job sites.
1. Always Inspect Equipment Before Operating
Daily inspections ensure that every component of the machinery is functioning optimally. Don’t forget to check the hydraulic hoses and oil levels. Create an inspection checklist, so you don’t miss anything.
2. Familiarize Yourself with Operator Manuals
Kubota construction equipment always comes with operator manuals. Everyone operating or maintaining the equipment must be familiar with the manual. It includes safety and maintenance tips, along with the proper usage of the equipment.
3. Wear Seatbelts and Proper PPE
Never operate heavy machinery without wearing a seatbelt. You can easily be tossed from the cab or slam forward onto the steering or floor. It’s also crucial to wear the appropriate PPE. Protective gear like hard hats, boots, safety glasses, and eye and ear protection are often required at construction sites.
4. Keep Load Limits in Mind
Know the machinery’s load limit before starting a job. Various machinery has different load limits. Overloading a machine can result in its tipping over.
5. Take Precautions When Loading and Unloading
Always load and unload on level ground. Avoiding hills and ramps limits the risk of the equipment or load sliding or tipping over. Use a spotter to help direct the process and clear the area of unnecessary personnel.
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6. Be Aware of Blind spots, Underground, and Overhead Hazards
Heavy machinery has blind spots operators must be aware of. A spotter should always be present when someone gets in or out of the equipment. It is essential to have a spotter during operation. They will provide alerts if an obstacle or individual is near.
Overhead and underground obstacles present a threat. Calling 811 will give you information on any underground cables or pipes. Mark any gas, water, electricity, and sewage lines with paint and bright-colored flags. Plan the project to avoid overhead hazards like low bridges and powerlines.
7. Conduct Regular Equipment Inspections & Preventative Maintenance
Conducting regular maintenance is essential for workplace safety. However, there are a few safety tips before beginning the inspection. First, ensure the machinery is shut down and the key is not in the ignition. Next, check if the parking brake is engaged and release any stored pressure in the hydraulic lines.
Daily inspections include checking the hydraulic lines for leaks or loose connections. Other fluid levels are also checked daily.
Preventive maintenance and inspections also include checking filters, tires/tracks, stress points, and the condition of the undercarriage. Don’t forget to inspect any attachments and the cab. Are the gears working smoothly?
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The content on this site reflects my own opinions and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of my employer or Kubota Tractor Corporation.