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Construction Site Safety Checklist for Heavy Equipment Operators

Thu September 27, 2018 - National Edition
Jeson Pitt


There are several other conditions that can cause fatalities on the construction site, so it is very important to take safety measures by construction site workers to reduce the risk of injuries and prevent electrical hazards.
There are several other conditions that can cause fatalities on the construction site, so it is very important to take safety measures by construction site workers to reduce the risk of injuries and prevent electrical hazards.

Any construction site employs heavy equipment to boost productivity and finish the project on time. But while heavy earthmoving equipment brings operational efficiency it also invites safety issues. In fact, every year operators are injured or even killed on site due to electrical hazards or from being struck by heavy mobile equipment - according to OSHA, approximately 75 percent of struck-by fatalities on construction sites involve heavy equipment likes cranes and trucks. There are several other conditions that can cause fatalities on the construction site, so it is very important to take safety measures by construction site workers to reduce the risk of injuries and prevent electrical hazards.

Here is a construction site safety checklist to avoid onsite hazards when working around heavy equipment:

Safe Work Practices to be Followed Prior to Operating Heavy Equipment
  • Construction companies must schedule training sessions that educate construction workers regarding the hazards involved in working on heavy equipment and the importance of safe work practices.
  • The operators must be made familiar with the equipment's mechanisms so they can spot issues immediately and ensure that the equipment is working at peak efficiency at all times.
  • Training sessions should combine clear instructions and interactive hands-on learning related to operating heavy equipment.
  • All machine operators should be trained to spot and prevent electrical hazards and potential risks surrounding the use of heavy equipment.
  • Workers should also be trained on how to mount and dismount equipment while stressing on the point that it is very important to maintain three contact points.
  • When Working on Heavy Equipment
  • The heavy machinery must be checked thoroughly before an operator can drive or operate it.
  • Before starting any heavy equipment, it must be ensured that it has been serviced as per the maintenance schedule.
  • Heavy earth moving equipment employs several attachments so the operator must see to it that the brakes are functional and all the attachments are lowered.
  • The machine must not be left on a slope or a ramp after use as an inclined surface may set it in motion.
  • Operators must be instructed to avoid entering, jumping off, or exiting any heavy equipment while it is in operation.
  • All the machines and equipment must be shutdown when not in use, the pressure from the hydraulic controls must the released, and the brake and lever must be set in neutral position.
  • When Dealing With Loads
  • Safety training must cover complete guidance on dealing with different load capacities, safe load manoeuvring, and setting up swing radius when working around heavy equipment.
  • Workers must be strictly instructed to ensure that payload and lift capacities are never exceeded.
  • All riggings must be checked before any load can be lifted.
  • All the loading and unloading must be carried out at the ground level to prevent rollovers, material spills and other hazards.
  • Safety Measures to be Taken by Ground Workers
  • Blind spots can pose serious safety issues and so it is important that operators know the equipment's blind spots and are trained in hand signals.
  • All spotters should be given high-visibility clothing so they stand clear and are always visible to operators.
  • All construction workers and operators must be wearing their personal protective equipment on site.
  • All pathways designed to for hauling and driving heavy equipment must be clearly marked.
  • Operators and workers must avoid walking within a swings radius and under heavy loads.
  • Radios must be used in and around machinery to ensure constant communication between workers working both inside and outside machines.
  • Maintenance Checks to Ensure Safe Surroundings
  • All heavy equipment must be inspected for adequate fluid levels, functional lights and operator controls and also for safety features like backup alarms to ensure construction site safety.
  • All construction machines must be inspected for signs of wear and tear, damage, leaks and loose connections.
  • All underground utilities including gas lines, water lines, power cables, and sewers must be prominently marked around digging sites.
  • All power lines above and around construction equipment and machinery should be powered down to prevent electrical hazards.
  • Preventive maintenance must be performed on all heavy equipment while ensuring strict adherence to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Finally, all lock-out and tag-out procedures must be in place and strictly adhered to when machine maintenance is being performed.
  • Jeson Pitt works with the marketing department of D&F Liquidators and regularly writes to share his knowledge while enlightening people about electrical products and solving their electrical dilemmas. He's got the industry insights that you can count on along with years of experience in the field. Jeson lives in Hayward, CA and loves to explore different cuisines that the food trucks in the Bay area have to offer.