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Heavy Equipment Safety Includes Protecting Your Work Colleagues

One of the most common accidents on a construction site is where heavy equipment comes into contact with a worker. With backhoes and excavators, this can often be the bucket striking an individual as it is being swung around. Other accidents include running into workers, particularly when reversing, and crushing workers between the heavy equipment and a stationary object – often another vehicle, or the side of a building.

To avoid accidents, one of the skills an operator must learn is awareness, and that process should start with their heavy equipment training. Heavy equipment operators need to be able to see clearly around them, and when there are obstructions, to call on the help of other workers to guide them. This is common practice with crane operators. If a crane operator cannot see the load, they will use a rigger or signal person to guide them and warn them of any dangers. The same process is available to heavy equipment operators in situations where vision is impaired for any reason.

All vehicles (including ordinary passenger cars) have ‘blind spots’. These are areas close to, and often behind, the equipment that an operator cannot see. Modern heavy equipment technology does have reversing monitors in place, however, they are only of use when the vehicle is actually reversing. Heavy equipment often also utilizes a warning system when reversing, a system that provides an audible beeping to warn other workers about the heavy equipment’s presence.

Workplace safety is everyone’s responsibility, and work colleagues do owe you a little respect as well. They are as much responsible for their actions around heavy equipment as the operator is. That being said, the heavy equipment operator is the person in control of the equipment, and they are in a position to stop or prevent an incident should someone impinge on their work area. Heavy equipment safety is vitally important – obviously from a human life perspective but also from a cost perspective. Accidents can bring a whole work site to a standstill until investigators have completed their investigation into the causes. Think safe, work safe, and you’ll protect yourself as well as your work colleagues.

ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Schools ranks heavy equipment safety highly and includes comprehensive training modules in workplace safety. When looking for a heavy equipment training school, be sure they rank workplace safety highly as well – employers will consider your application for employment.

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