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Posts Tagged ‘safety training’

What A Heavy Equipment Rigger Does

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Riggers are some of the most important people on the heavy equipment or construction site. Their job is to ensure safety and to maneuver equipment using ropes, chains, and hoists from one location or position to another. A rigger may be called to pull a bulldozer out of a ditch or a crane out of a body of water after falling off a dock.

Riggers must pass a training class and receive certification. They must pass a test to meet OSHA standards and demonstrate they understand common safety standards.

Another responsibility of riggers on the heavy equipment job site is to perform maintenance on equipment. If a grader or loader stalls while performing tasks on the spot and the crew cannot fix the problem at their skill level, a rigger may be called to repair the equipment on the spot rather than tow the heavy equipment back to the maintenance shop. If the rigger cannot fix the problem on the spot, then towing may be used as a last resort.

The rigging professional on the job site must understand how weight shifts on specific types of terrains and under certain weather conditions. He must be familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of the various types of heavy equipment.

Riggers must also be experts in the use of ropes, chains, hoists, slings, hooks, swivels, shackles, block and tackle, and other lifting and heavy equipment moving machines. She must understand which types of leverage provides the best support for any type of situation. A rigger is a valuable member of any heavy equipment team.

Learn how you can become a rigger today.

Obtaining OSHA Qualifications

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is one of the most powerful U.S federal agencies, charged with inspecting businesses and ensuring that the work force is a safe place to work. Richard Nixon signed the OSH Act into law in 1970. Since then, work-related deaths and injuries have been reduced by nearly 65 percent.

One of the important functions of OSHA is to approve training programs like ATS’s Rigging and Signalperson qualification and certification courses.

The most important certification you can have in the heavy equipment industry is certification in safety.

We at ATS feel that safety is a top priority on the job site because if worker’s can’t be protected from accidents and unsafe working conditions, then it will be difficult to fill important and essential jobs. Employers will find it harder to keep well qualified personnel on the machinery they need to complete important work.

The nation’s roads and bridges are built and maintained by heavy equipment operators. If working conditions are not safe, how long will it be before the national infrastructure crumbles?

OSHA fulfills a very important function. That’s why we’re proud to offer OSHA-compliant training that teaches the best and safest practices on the job site. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Heavy Equipment and Power lines

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

For heavy equipment operators, safety on all work sites should be the first priority. After all, there is a lot happening at any given moment, and most of the action involves heavy, dangerous pieces of equipment. Heavy equipment alone is dangerous to the operator and others on the work site, but there are often unseen dangers on a construction site. Power lines are often found near construction sites, and sometimes even high voltage lines which can be a serious danger to a heavy equipment operator.

In some instances, these lines can be buried under the ground, yet in other areas they will be over head supported by poles. Both of these situations can be dangerous for a heavy equipment operator . The underground power lines can be easily hit by a backhoe or excavator. To prevent this, the power company should be contacted to mark the ground where the lines are buried. Even after the lines are marked, extreme caution must be used when digging in the area.

Overhead power lines can also be a danger to operators. They can be easily forgotten as they are out of sight. The main two pieces of heavy equipment that are susceptible to these overhead wires are the crane and, believe it or not, the dump truck. The dump truck operator can actually hit a power line when lifting the load up to dump it. To prevent accidents related to the overhead power lines, preferably, the power can be shut down to the area. If this is not possible, enough warning signage must be used to ensure operators are constantly aware of the lines and where they are located.

There are many dangers on a work site, power lines may be one of the most dangerous due to the voltage they may carry. The proper procedures and precautions must be taken at all times when working near them. Safety around these dangerous power lines must be every worker’s main priority on the work site at all times.

Heavy Equipment Safety – A Priority for All

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

The life of a heavy equipment operator can be one of financial security and respect within a community. These men and women are recognized as the force behind the building of the roads citizens travel on and the buildings where many work. With the financial rewards and recognition comes a lot of responsibility, these heavy equipment jobs can be extremely dangerous if the proper precautions are not taken. A heavy equipment operator must have the skills required to complete his job in a quality manner, but heavy equipment safety must always be his or her number one priority.

A construction site is a fairly dangerous place in general. When several pieces of heavy equipment are working the same site, this just multiplies the danger. The chances of a serious incident occurring increase if people are not properly trained on heavy equipment safety. Some of the more horrific accidents can happen simply by not paying attention to one’s surroundings. Many a worker has been crushed by equipment overturning or even run over by a piece of heavy equipment. Others have been hurt or even killed when getting caught between a wall and a piece of equipment. All of these accidents can be avoided if a proper heavy equipment safety training program is in place.

Heavy equipment safety training is taught at all Heavy Equipment training schools, but it also needs to be performed at the company level on a regular basis. The importance of heavy equipment safety cannot be taken lightly. This essential training also needs to be kept interesting to ensure it effectively gets through to operators. No matter the skill level of an operator, heavy equipment safety must be the number one priority on a work site. The alternative can be life taking.

Heavy Equipment Training: The Little Things

Monday, January 30th, 2012

The exciting and lucrative world of heavy equipment operators is a dream for many, and it can be an exciting life. After all, sitting in a bulldozer or crane pushing and pulling levers sounds like a pretty good gig, but there is much more to being a heavy equipment operator than just this. Training on numerous pieces of equipment is an important part of becoming an operator, but perhaps even more important are the “little things” that a good training school will provide to help a heavy equipment operator strive on the work site. These are the skills that will ensure that an operator is effective and safe on the work site.

Some of these often overlooked skills are grade reading, work site safety and heavy equipment maintenance. These courses sound like very minor items. Perhaps, even throw away classes, but in reality, these can be some of the most important classes an operator will take. These classes will actually teach a trainee the fundamentals needed in the construction and engineering industries. It is essential that these are part of any training school’s curriculum for heavy equipment operator training.

A heavy equipment operator trainee obviously wants to learn to drive a bulldozer or a crane immediately, but it is essential that he is trained in the basics of safety and maintenance. An employer will be looking for a well-rounded operator that has been trained in all aspects of the job. Every good training school will ensure that a trainee has mastered these “little things” prior to moving onto the more exciting aspects of the job.

Heavy Equipment Operator – Where to Now?

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Once a worker has completed the Heavy Equipment Operator training, he will often head right out to his new career at an engineering or construction company. The new skills that have been taught will begin to become second nature with the experience gained in the field. At this time, a worker will either decide that he or she is happy working as a heavy equipment operator, or that he is looking for something more from his career. There are many paths that can be taken at this point, but one route that can be chosen in this decision making process is to move into crane operations.

Crane operators require some additional training and skills above the requirements for a heavy equipment operator to safely operate these mammoth machines. To be able to operate a crane on a work site, the passing of a certification test is required. With these additional requirements comes more responsibility regarding safety and effective work practices, but with these additional requirements also comes additional pay for the crane operator. In many workers’ eyes, this additional crane operator training is well worth the time spent to ensure a higher salary at the end of the day.

Crane operator training can be a huge investment in any worker’s future. In about a month, a heavy equipment operator can be trained and certified to operate a crane and advance his career. Crane operators are in high demand right now due to the “baby boomer” generation reaching retirement age. Now is a great time for heavy equipment operators to get the crane operator training under their belts. What better time than now to advance a career?

The OSHA Requirements For Heavy Equipment Safety

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Heavy equipment operators are no different to many other workplaces in that OSHA safety requirements are enforced. This includes mandatory safety training relevant to the equipment being used, the work being done, and the site where the work is being done. Heavy equipment operators working on suspected hazardous waste sites will, for example, require HAZWOPER training. If you are working on a construction site, you may need specific construction induction training.

The concept of OSHA safety training is, as the name suggests, to ensure that employers provide safe working conditions, and that employees follow the right safety procedures. When your first start heavy equipment operator training, you will notice there is a heavy emphasis on safety. There’s a good reason for this – heavy equipment is very dangerous if used inappropriately.

At ATS Heavy Equipment Training Schools, we include safety as an important component of a student’s training. Our training meets many of the OSHA and industry standards for certification compliance leaving employees to provide any further job specific training. Competent graduates from our heavy equipment training program are well received by employers because of the safety training already completed.

For those considering a career as a heavy equipment operator, it is important to understand who is responsible for safety in the workplace. If you’re not sure – it’s the employer, so when you apply for a vacancy and you have already completed many of the training requirements, your application is looked on very favorably – the employer only needs to fill in the blanks. Safety training is an expensive process so employers want to minimize their costs. When looking for heavy equipment training, be sure their is a strong safety component – it will help you get that first job.

Heavy Equipment Safety Is An Issue For All Workers

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Heavy equipment has been the focus of attention when it comes to safety for several years now. While operators require training that includes safety, onsite workers also have an obligation to act safely around heavy equipment. Work place health and safety training is now mandatory in many industries and where employers have failed to ensure their employees are trained, big fines are on offer.

When it comes to heavy equipment safety, there are several areas that are important to understand. These areas include:

Preservation of self – This is fairly obvious, the last thing any operator should do is act in a way that could put themselves in danger. An obvious example of this is when working around power lines – come into contact with one of those power lines and you could be in real trouble.

Safety of others – The majority of heavy equipment accidents involve injuries to people other than the operator. In some cases, it is the worker on the ground that hasn’t taken care. However, operators should be aware of everyone around them and be trained sufficiently well that they can take avoidance action should a situation become dangerous.

Safety of property – By far the number one result of accidents is damage to property. This includes buildings and vehicles. These accidents generally occur through sloppy work, often because an operator has misjudged a distance. Heavy equipment can cause tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage just through one simple error of judgment.

These accidents are all avoidable. Heavy equipment safety training is designed to cover all aspects of safety. This training is generally included as part of a person’s basic heavy equipment training program. In some states, an employee cannot start work onsite unless they have undertaken this training. If you are looking at heavy equipment training programs, be sure they have a good safety component – you may find it necessary when looking for employment.

Heavy Equipment Safety – Chile A Grim Reminder

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

For the last couple of months there has been a lot of interest in the events involving the miners trapped in Chile. It’s these types of events that bring home the real need for workplace safety. Heavy equipment safety goes beyond simple workplace safety – the equipment itself is a deadly tool if not operated within limits. Did you notice what they used to raise and lower the ‘Phoenix’ rescue capsule? It was a large mobile crane. What probably hasn’t registered with most people who followed these events was the safety aspect of that crane.

Having drilled through to the trapped miners, rather than plowing ahead and trying to free them, they tested every safety aspect possible. The crane double and triple checked to ensure it was on a stable footing. The crane was positioned precisely so that it could raise and lower the rescue capsule with ease. In fact, they practiced the raising and lowering dozens of times before they were happy to perform the rescue. Did you watch the rescue? If you did you will have seen the speed of the cable constantly changing – this was at the instruction of the rescue foreman. This means their communications were spot on as well.

This is a rare and unusual situation. However, the rescue itself, from the crane operator’s perspective, was just another job (albeit with half the world watching and men’s lives at risk). That operator’s training, together with the training of those on ground, was integral to the success of that rescue. For most heavy equipment operators, the job is far more mundane than rescuing people. However, the heavy equipment safety that is required is no less. When looking at heavy equipment training, don’t forget the events of Chile – be sure your training has a strong safety aspect to it.

The Core Concepts Of Heavy Equipment Safety Training

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

Safety has been recognized as one of the most important issues in workplaces. To help reduce workplace accidents, training organizations now include heavy equipment safety training in all their heavy equipment training programs. Safety is really a matter of common sense. Unfortunately, saving time and taking shortcuts and plain carelessness are the two leading causes of accidents.

There are three core concepts to heavy equipment safety training. As I mentioned, they are based really on common sense. These three concepts are:

  • Protection of Self – You would think this was one area where operators wouldn’t need training. However, they do. Simple observations like being aware of overhead powerlines, other equipment and the terrain you are operating on are extremely important. Correctly anchoring or balancing your work is also important. The ramifications of not protecting yourself can often impact elsewhere with people and property around you also at risk.
  • Protection of those around us – Protecting your work colleagues is the second concept. Again, it comes back to awareness. Do you know who is working around you and where they are? Being aware of what is going on around you is important. This helps you to avoid placing them at any risk. Those issues mentioned above also help to protect those working around you.
  • Protection of property – If you are protecting yourself and protecting your work colleagues then the chances are you will also be protecting the property around you. At the risk of sounding like a cracked record – awareness is again the main issue. Knowing where buildings and vehicles are at all times helps you to ensure you don’t come into contact with them at any time.

I said there were three basic concepts and there are. But as you can see, when it comes to heavy equipment safety, being observant and aware of what is going on around you is at the center of those concepts. There are other issues, of course: maintenance, preparation, a clear head; they are all a part of heavy equipment safety. Are you a safe worker – or do you cut corners and work carelessly? If that’s you then you should perhaps consider another career rather than heavy equipment.

* Associated Training Services fully endorses the national certification program offered by the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO), and will prepare candidates for the CCO certification examinations.

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