Heavy Equipment Operation
Heavy equipment is common on all job sites we work on. This equipment has the ability to be very hazardous without taking the proper precautions. Proper work planning as well as operating equipment within its designed limits are important basic steps for safe operation.
Hazards of Heavy Equipment
- Line of Fire – Ground personnel are frequently struck by equipment in an unmanaged safety environment. With large equipment comes larger injuries and a high fatality potential
- Leaks – Leaks cause environmental issues and equipment damage . Site owners have a very strict zero tolerance policy when it comes to leaks. Don’t get thrown off site!
- Site damages – Heavy equipment does not have a full 360 degree view and is difficult to stop quickly, leading to potential damages to buildings, vehicles and miscellaneous small items.
- Power Line Contact – Equipment should stay at least 3 metres feet away from power lines. When voltage of the lines increase the distance to stay away from lines also needs to increase as electricity can jump from the line to a nearby metal surface
Best Practices Relating to Heavy Equipment Operation
- All equipment needs to be inspected daily prior to use. Any problems found with equipment have to be corrected and re-inspected before it is used.
- Equipment requires having seat belts and a roll over protective system to protect the operator in case of roll over or crash.
- Work areas need to be properly delineated and enough space given to heavy equipment to operate properly. Clear out all unnecessary personnel, objects, and vehicles from the work area.
- Always do a walk around prior to work to be sure no objects, people, or vehicles are in a blind spot.
- Craft need to be familiar with the equipment that they operate and not operating equipment if they are excessively fatigued or sick.
- Flag people and spotters should be used to assist with the operator’s field of view.