Learning how to weld can lead you to a fulfilling hobby or long-term career, but…
There is a lot to think about when operating heavy equipment. You have the task at hand that needs to be completed, and in many situations accuracy is of utmost importance. Motor graders are a good example – their fine grading skills are important when they are undertaking the final grade for a new road. Excavator operators also need to be accurate, especially when digging in areas where existing services are located – you don’t want to be breaking open gas pipes, or worse, sewage pipes. To make life a little more difficult, heavy equipment operators must also take into account other workers on the site, structures, and other vehicles – overhead power lines are also a concern in some work areas.
Where a heavy equipment operator is really tested is when working on a project where the general public are in close proximity. One of the hardest jobs is working on road works, either road repairs or road widening projects. Traffic is generally diverted around your work area, however, that can still bring them very close to your equipment. In situations where half a road or a lane is closed, you will always get the rogue driver who thinks they own the road – they’ll ignore road signage and barge through. There have been countless incidents where workers have been injured because of these drivers, yet if your equipment makes contact with their car, they will be the first to place all the blame on your operating skills.
Operating heavy equipment in areas away from others can lead an operator into a false sense of security. They don’t have to be as careful. After all, there’s no one around to harm. This can lead to bad habits, which, if taken to a busier work site, can create a lot of problems. No matter where you are working, heavy equipment operators need to maintain safe work practices, both for their own safety and for the safety of others. If an operator is working safely, and a rogue driver encroaches into the work area, then they will ultimately be held responsible for any incidents.
Heavy equipment safety training is an important part of any training for new recruits to the industry. You will find that many employers follow this training up with their own safety training, especially if they have safety aspects that need to be concentrated on. Are you preparing yourself for a safe work place? Be sure your heavy equipment operator training includes a safety component – employers will not employ you if you don’t have these basics covered.