Construction sites witnesses numerous fatalities and grievous injuries every year. Not only operators, but laborers, superintendents, co-workers, casual visitors and others fall prey to such incidents.
No accident is inevitable. Rigorous hands-on operator training is at the core of preventing such accidents. The operator should carry out a walk around inspection of the machine and construction site prior to commencing the job. Any discrepancies should be immediately brought to the notice of the site manager.
You can ensure safety at job site by observing the below discussed points.
1) Ensure Safety while getting on and Off the Equipment
Arm your operator with all personal protective devices like safety gloves, shoes, etc. Before mounting the machine, get the steps cleaned. The operator should wear a high grip glove to strengthen the grip over hand holds. The three-point contact system should be adhered to. Abstain from carrying loads while climbing. You can mull installing extra steps or grips to accommodate the size of operator. The operator should lower himself in proper manner while descending, and never jump off the machine.
2) Make Loading or Unloading Safe
Guide the course of your machine on a straight route while negotiating ramps. Stay centered to avoid roll-over. Even in congested sites, allow for elbow room for safe maneuvering of machines. Engage a spotter to give directions to the operator. Never turn on ramps. Drive people out of the machine’s range while loading or unloading. When stowing the machine, check its energy state by reviewing tag out options. Tie down the machine through approved procedures. Open the handle of compression chain binders safely as the tension in chain can build up by abnormal load shifting causing the handle to bounce open.
3) Don’t let People Crowd the Work Zone
The foreman should ensure that casual viewers and workers are safely moved out of the site before heavy machinery is operated. The operator should blow his horn to warn people and remain vigilant of the people gathering at the rear side of the machine.
4) Keep the Swing Area Safe
The area covered under the swing radius of the machine should be clearly demarcated at site. Engage a spotter to alert spectators if they get closer to the machine.
5) Ensure Safety on Slopes
Exercise special controls while operating the machine on slopes. Nothing should be allowed to come in the course of machine lest the machine should skid / slide and hit the object. If the manufacturer does not recommend operating on slopes, strictly avoid the same.
6) Identify Buried and Overhead Obstructions
The construction site will essentially have overhead obstructions or buried utilities. Map them beforehand and distinctively mark them with conspicuous signage. When the machine is alarmingly close to electrical utilities/ sewer lines, prefer digging through manual mode.
7) Ensure Safety when on Reverse Motion
Backup alarms should be definitely installed in machines to facilitate danger-free reverse motion. The operator should manually ensure that no one is behind the machine. If operator’s vision is blocked, he should seek the services of a spotter. Wide angled rear view mirrors or rear view cameras should be installed. They should be kept clean. Proximity sensor alarms can also be installed to give off a warning if someone gets in the machine’s marked area.
8) Keep Driving Safe
The operator should keep himself harnessed to the machine with seat belt. This will reduce the impact of jerks experienced on his body and facilitate easy controlling of machine when it starts tipping. The operator should enhance his knowledge about the machine’s behavior in different surface conditions by going through the instructional videos.
9) Avoid Instability
To avoid instability, abstain from using bulky fittings, have isolation mechanisms in place, equip hooks with safety latches, mark the proper lifting angles on chains, get nylon slings professionally inspected, and learn about exact lifting geometry for spreader beams. Never allow lifting of loads over people’s heads. Even a versatile machine should be deployed for one particular job at a time. Limitations of people and construction machinery should be respected.
Material safety data sheet for all potentially risky materials should be prepared. Meet the standards of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for optimum safety on construction site. Always work with reputed construction companies such as Urban Trends that follow necessary safety precautions.