5 Tips for Staying Safe When You Operate Heavy Equipment

by | May 28, 2023 | Blog, Heavy Equipment, Heavy Equipment School | 0 comments

On any construction site, safety is everyone’s responsibility. Each worker, regardless of their position, must always remain diligent and maintain steadfast attention to detail in order to ensure that no unnecessary risks are taken. This is especially true if you operate heavy equipment. After all, machinery is only as safe as its operator, and your colleagues will be depending on you.

Follow these five safety tips from the experts at West Coast Training to stay safe when operating heavy equipment:

1. Start With the Proper Training

Most employers won’t consider hiring you as a heavy equipment operator if you don’t have certification from a licensed crane operator school. Certifications are an essential part of safety protocol. They are a way for employers to ensure you have received standardized training, with an emphasis on safety curriculum approved by the topmost experts in the field.

Get your NCCER or other necessary certifications from a school such as West Coast Training to ensure you are properly trained to operate heavy machinery safely.

2. Always Check the jobsite Before You Begin

Before you operate heavy equipment, such as a crane, dozer, or any other type of heavy machinery, you should first triple-check to ensure the jobsite is clear of any hazards. Examples of hazards include exposed power lines, any objects that may move unexpectedly, and of course, other people standing in the path of the machinery. Make sure the site is clear of these and any other hazards before beginning your work.

3. Inspect Your Machinery

After securing the jobsite itself, you should go through your checklist to make sure that everything is in good working order with the machinery itself. If you are the heavy equipment operator, then this will be solely your responsibility, and you must take great care to ensure that it is done correctly. Check everything from fuel levels to the tires and treads of your machinery to the hooks, pulleys, and cables that you will be using on your equipment.

4. Only Use Equipment for Its Intended Purpose

There are many different types of heavy equipment, each of which is rated for different tasks. We cannot overemphasize the importance of only using machinery to perform tasks for which they have been rated.

When accidents on a jobsite occur, it is often because someone decided to push their machinery to perform a task it wasn’t suited to do. It is far better to delay a task and wait until you have the proper equipment than it is to deal with a potentially tragic or costly accident on a jobsite.

5. Clear Communication Is Key

Our final tip is to ensure that you always have a clear line of communication with your coworkers. Each of you must be able to provide necessary feedback to one another so that if a safety issue does arise, you can deal with it immediately. Of course, jobsites can become loud and chaotic, which is why when you attend heavy equipment operator courses at West Coast Training, you will learn how to communicate using hand signals, radios, and other alternative methods so that everyone is always aware of what is happening at any given moment.