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Excavator Operators Facing Threat From Above And Below

Safety is an important issue in any workplace. Construction brings many dangers, however, for some heavy equipment operators, safety becomes a bigger problem when they are working away from a construction site. There are dangers everywhere in life, yet as you go about your daily business, are you aware of the dangers both above and below you?

Excavator operators need to be more observant than most since those above and below dangers are ever-present. Looking up and staying alive is a common theme in heavy equipment training programs. Why look up? Overhead power lines are everywhere and they represent a major danger to heavy equipment operators. Bring down live power lines and you could create all sorts of problems. To begin with, your equipment could be become ‘live’. If you try to escape, you run the risk of being electrocuted. Stay, and there’s a risk of fire, more so if those live power cables are sparking.

That’s above. What about below? Hidden below your feet are all the service pipes carrying water, sewage, sometimes telephone or power, and gas. The latter is a major cause for concern since a minor break in a pipe could lead to a major explosion – and we have seen a few of these in recent years.

Running into problems with overhead power lines or underground services can cause problems for operators, particularly crane and excavator operators who frequently raise their equipment well above eye level. Those problems also create huge problems for residents and businesses. Loss of power is one thing, being evacuated because of a dangerous gas leak is ever more of a problem.

Most reputable heavy equipment training programs include study of these issues and how to prevent incidents from happening. Workplace safety is a big issue today, so you do need to ensure you receive the best training possible before entering the workplace. If you can remember to look up when using your heavy equipment, and to check on the location of underground services, you should be able to avoid problems. Plow in without any thought, and you’ll most likely cause problems for yourself and those around you.

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