Published on May 3, 2014
Machinery Operator Safety Tips Operating any kind of heavy machinery comes with risks - it's important to understand what these are so that you can prevent accidents and property damage. If you're taking on new help or you just want to make sure your farming business is up to speed and operating as efficiently and safely as possible. Seasoned heavy machinery operators know exactly what to do, how to avoid accidents and how to skillfully use equipment to hasten productivity. But every once in a while, attention may wander, hearing and visibility may be compromised or new operators may be unfamiliar with a piece of equipment. Here are some safety tips for heavy equipment. Training Even if you are familiar with the type of equipment that you will be working with, you may not have had experience with the particular model that you are going to be using. Training is incredibly important and a few hours under the watchful eye of someone more experienced can get you up to speed on everything from the major features to the subtle differences that you might not understand if they weren't pointed out. Wearing safety gear Safety gear can consist of gloves, glasses, steel-toed boots, hats and masks. The work may be seemingly minor but the use of heavy equipment on construction sites generates a lot of pollutants, some of which can cause skin and eye irritation and respiratory infections. These aside from more obvious threats like having something heavy fall on them or a sharp tool causing cuts and worse.
Falls This item always makes the top of the list for construction site hazards. Falls from equipment, scaffolding, and other high places are dangerous and far too common. All construction sites are required to provide basic fall safety precautions and standards. Inspect Your Machinery Regularly Shut off engines during refueling. Shut off equipment before making repairs. When equipment is under repair, place a sign “Under Repair” in the seat, remove the start key, or lock out the controls. This simple step can greatly minimize risks and if a habit can be cultivated, workers, the management and the credibility of the company will witness a better safety record. Parking and Security Always lower attachments and set the parking brake before dismounting the equipment. Always set the brake, lower the equipment, and place the shift lever in neutral at the end of each work shift. Secure the equipment when finished for the day. Make sure it is clear of traffic. If it is not clear, mark it with glares or red lights. Lock it up. Complying with instructions As powerful as heavy equipment may be, they are designed to bear certain weights which must not be exceeded on any account. Likewise, machines are designed for certain tasks and should not be used to perform other work even if superiors give the go- ahead. The instructions are there for a reason and serve as a warning and a guide to operator safety.
Have Machinery Regularly Serviced Take machinery to be serviced at least twice a year. Things like oil and fluids should be monitored frequently but they should also be inspecting the engine and looking for any unusual sounds, leaks or emissions. These regular services will keep your machinery in a functioning state for longer, ensuring that you avoid expensive repairs or replacements and get a long life out of every one that you own.
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