Renting heavy equipment makes it easier to get big jobs done around the worksite. Unfortunately, it also makes it easier to end up with an employee in the hospital, or worse. When it comes to heavy equipment rentals, safety is always the priority, and it is incumbent upon your team to ensure the safety of your personnel and anyone with access to the construction site. To that end, the following are some general safety tips we strongly recommend all of our customers adhere to when taking possession of heavy equipment rentals.
- Inspect the Equipment
- Before accepting a piece of equipment, always inspect the machine for damaged components, missing components, leaks, etc. If something is missing or seems amiss, don’t accept the machine until the concern is thoroughly investigated and, if necessary, corrected.
- Dress Appropriately
- Make sure that every employee is wearing high visibility clothing, as well as ear and eye protection. Ensuring all employees have the appropriate personal protective equipment is crucial for keeping them safe when working in close proximity to heavy equipment.
- Get To Know the Machine
- Give the heavy equipment operator sufficient time to explore the machine’s controls and quirks. Whether you rent a backhoe or a bulldozer, the controls are likely to be similar to previous systems they have used. However, the position of controls, control function, labeling, alarms, etc. can vary significantly. Giving your personnel sufficient time to familiarize themselves with the equipment is a valuable investment of time that can significantly reduce the risk of a catastrophic workplace accident.
- Practice Communication
- Good communication is the key to a safe worksite. When heavy equipment is present on the site, ensure that your personnel has functional two-way radios. You should also spend time beforehand training everyone to understand and use hand gestures, signs, and other communication methods suitable for noisy, fast-paced, and typically low-visibility construction environments.
- Don’t Push It
- Whether it is the physical limits of the equipment operator or poor weather conditions that blow into the area, don’t attempt to operate heavy equipment when it is unsafe to do so. It is always better to fall behind schedule and catch up when conditions improve than to risk a potentially catastrophic accident.
- Adjust Operations as Needed
- Listen to your equipment operators and personnel when they identify potential hazards associated with heavy equipment operation on the worksite. Whether there are concerns over the location of materials or fuel storage, blind spots, workflow, soil conditions, or other factors, make adjustments as required to improve worksite safety conditions.
- Don’t Get Complacent
- The leading cause of accidents involving heavy equipment is complacency. Remaining vigilant and continually impressing the importance of vigilance on personnel is the key to keeping everyone alert to the inherent dangers of working in close proximity to heavy equipment.
- Inspect Equipment Daily
- Make sure to inspect heavy equipment every day before work and again at the end of the workday. Ensure that hoses are not cracked or split, brake, light, and warning systems are functional, tires are properly inflated, tracks are appropriately secured, and no fluid or fuel leaks.
The Central Power Systems & Services team invites you to contact us to learn more about the heavy equipment rentals we offer. We are happy to tell you more about the steps we take to ensure the machines you rent are stable, sturdy, and ready to get to work. We will also tell you more about the best ways to train and prepare your personnel to operate the equipment safely.