Learning how to weld can lead you to a fulfilling hobby or long-term career, but…
Most heavy equipment operators are going to be working outside when they are working. For many, this is exactly why they love what they do because they love being outdoors. But it also means that there’s a good chance they will be exposed to any or all of the not so healthy outdoor surroundings that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) warns against:
- physical hazards like extreme hot or cold, lightning, sunburn & skin cancer, excessive noise and vibration damaging ears and body
- biological hazards like diseases from insect bites (ie. Lyme disease ), venomous bites and stings, poisonous plants
- other hazards like chemicals or job site contaminants
Hazards for heavy equipment operators are not a reason to quit. They are a reason to be wise. Every job has hazards, right? The thing is to be aware of the potential and be prepared for the reality.
Be aware of the potential hazards on your particular job site. If you know it’s going to be hot, bring enough appropriate drinks to stay hydrated and healthy. That means you can’t be chugging soft drinks all day, but having water and sports drinks in high heat scenarios would be smart. Wear sunscreen and reapply it on your break, and take the breaks in the shade. Your job site has hazards – it’s up to you to know what they are and what to do about it.
Be prepared for the reality of how your job affects your body. If you are sitting on top of a backhoe in the sun all day long, you will be sunburned and sore by the end of a sunny day. Wear eye and ear protection and adjust your seating so your body isn’t strained as you work. Look for ticks at the end of the day and report any bites. Pay attention to any safety regulations your employer asks you to follow.
Heavy equipment operators do best when they are trained and knowledgeable about the job they will be doing. ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training School is a good way to get ready for a career that will give you the chance to do your job outside, just where you want to be working.