When operating on the construction site, there are a great number of things that could go wrong. Every year, there are thousands of injuries that happen on construction sites. Also, a great number of these injuries happen to be fatal. The operator is the cause for a lot of them, but some injuries also involve by-standers on the ground, such as co-workers, shovel hands, sidewalk superintendants and others. Because the forces that make these injuries are not at all insignificant, they are usually not something that can be solved with an ordinary first-aid kit. These injuries will mostly involve calling of an ambulance, and they may easily be a cause of death. This is why it is very important for everyone involved to try their best to avoid any accidents that might happen.
It should be noted that any accidents that might cause injury to a worker can be avoided and prevented. The OHSA provides regulations that are intended to do just that. Also, another important aspect of avoiding injuries is the training of the machine operators. It is not important that you know that your worker has spent a number of years operating the machine he is working on. You should be sure that he had received proper training for that particular machine, as self-taught operators might not grasp all the possibilities the machine has and all the dangers that may be caused by operating the machine.
Whenever a machine is bought, the manufacturer will offer operator training for that machine as a part of their customer service. It costs a little extra, but it will provide all the necessary knowledge for operating on that machine. The future operator will be taught the dos-and-don’ts for that particular machine. In the end, he or she will have practice with that equipment, and later will be issued a certificate that he or she knows how to operate that machine.
If you still think that getting to know the equipment is not important, it is advisable that you read these tips, and see that it is wrong to consider so.
Mounting the equipment and getting off of it
This is, basically, the number one cause for injuries on the construction sites. It includes machine operators and forklift, truck and backhoe drivers. All of them have had an episode or two that have helped them learn what not to do when accessing the equipment.
It is very important that you approach the machine in a right way. You should check and see whether your boots have dirt and mud on them, since this can easily lead to slipping when mounting and dismounting the machine. Also, be sure that you use gloves that have firm grip.
Since the operators come in different sizes, it is also important to make sure that they can access the equipment in the right way. This means that if they require additional steps or hand holds installed, it should be done by sending the machine back to the manufacturer for installing these additional items. The safety of the workers should always come first, no matter the price.
Crowded working area
This is the biggest problem for backhoe, forklift and truck operators, as they will be sure to tell you if you ask them. Most of the time this should not be their problem, but the thing that should be solved by the superintendants and foremen, instead. People on the ground just love to stand and watch the dirt being moved. It is unclear why this is the case, but everyone is always trying to come as close as they can to spectate this event.
The operating area for the machines must at all times be clear. This is the job of the foremen, who should enforce that people who have no business there stay as far away as required in order to avoid any potential injuries. Also, the machine operator should sound the horn to notify that the machine is working, and that everyone should clear out.
The upset of the machine
When carrying a load with your machine, it might happen that it may start to tip over. This may happen due to the load not being evenly distributed on both sides, on the level of the terrain and some other things. When this starts to happen, you can always try to work your way out of it, but sometimes even the most skilled drivers cannot prevent this from happening. In that case, the most important thing that can save your life is the seat belt, or a safety harness. It is always important that your seat belt is fastened, since it can prevent you from bouncing around in the cabin. Of course, professional machine operators will not need to be reminded of this essential rule, but, since this turns out to be a cause of injury in many cases, we put it here as a reminder.
These tips are here to help secure the construction site and the machine operators’ safety. If you need further advice on how to secure your construction site, it is always advised to consult a manual or some construction safety plan. OHSA has made a number of regulations for securing the construction site and making the operators safe. These should also be consulted.