Heavy equipment is essentially to the running of most businesses, but whether you are using a tractor or a trolley you need to have the relevant safety precautions in place to reduce risk and keep everyone out of danger. Here are five things to look out for when you’re next operating heavy equipment in the work place.
Most machinery has a maximum load that it can maneuver. This will be written on the equipment somewhere and it’s really important to respect the limits. As well as watching weights, always secure the contents effectively and make sure everything is in good working order before you get going. Loads also need to be altered to suit the individual, never put weights on that you aren’t comfortable with, regardless of your situation. Remain safe and take a bit more time instead of taking the risk.
Employees must be trained on the locking systems that come with heavy equipment. For example, a lot of heavy machinery is fitted with lockable castors. Tente’s swivel castors, for example, have central lock systems that are fast and reliable as well as directional locks which stops swivel castor wheels from turning. This helps the user travel in a straight line.
It is really important to be aware of who is around you when operating heavy equipment. Make sure you stay in constant communication, especially when you’re on the move so that people know to look out for you. Because working spaces can tend to be quite noisy, it might be best to communicate over a two-way radio.
It’s amazing how many accidents happen because of tall equipment meeting low wires or structures. This article recommends that ‘before work starts on any job site, all overhead obstructions such as power lines and low clearance should be identified and flagged. Underground utilities such as water, sewer, gas and electrical need to be located by the appropriate department and marked with color coded paint.’ This should be something the whole company looks into, but make sure the relevant risk assessments have been carried out before you get started.
Before you use machinery, it should have been clearly marked with the ‘safe working load’ but also all of the other configurations that are possible on the equipment. ‘Accessories must also be marked to show any characteristics that might affect their safe use. This may include the weight of the parts, where their weight is significant,’ and according to the government’s health and safety website, equipment that is capable of lifting people needs signage that either states it should not be used to lift people, or it has a maximum weight allowance for lifting people.
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