Each year, there are thousands of injuries and hundreds of fatal accidents related to machine and equipment operation. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), many of these accidents involve the operator, but over half involve people on the ground, including spotters, co-workers, laborers, shovel hands, civilians and sidewalk superintendents. Not only can do these accidents have the potential to be devastating to the individuals involved, they also increase the liability risk for your construction business.
Accidents can happen to even the most experienced construction workers, but proper training and knowledge may help reduce the risk of one occurring. Here are some basic safety tips to share with your project managers and other workers.
Use caution getting on and off equipment. This includes using gloves and boots with proper gripping materials to prevent slipping, and checking to make sure there is no mud on you that could cause slipping either. Also, when exiting equipment it’s important to lower yourself in a controlled manner.
Know proper techniques for loading and unloading equipment. Even on level ground, there’s a risk of machine roll-over during loading or unloading. Make sure you are centered on the ramps and stay straight, using a spotter for guidance. Also, be sure to use proper tie-down procedures as the load may shift when in motion.
Don’t crowd the work area. People on the ground must stay well away from the machine operating area. This important point should be reviewed at safety meetings and consistently reinforced by construction foremen. If you’re the one operating the machine, use your horn to warn people to stay back, stop the machine if needed, and always check your back before moving in reverse.
Be aware of your machine’s swing radius. Rope off the swing radius around the machine or otherwise secure it. Use a spotter to keep all people clear. Accidents due to not knowing the machine’s swing radius is actually very common.
These are just a few construction site safety tips to keep in mind. It’s also important to be aware of overhead obstructions and underground utilities, and to use appropriate safety gear when operating any particular machine. At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, our construction insurance specialists work with clients of all shapes and sizes and fully understand the diversity of this industry. To learn how we can best serve you, please contact us today at (877) 602-2305.