Dangers and Hazards Around Heavy Equipment

There are many, many dangers and safety hazard when working around heavy equipment. Before entering the area where the heavy equipment will be located there will likely be some minimum required PPE or personal protective equipment that will be required, including a hard hat, ear protection, safety glasses, a safety vest, safety gloves, and safety boots.

Always have communication in and around you at all times. Keep a safe working distance from the moving equipment and always be in a position where you can see the operator’s eyes. If you can’t see the operator they likely cannot see you. Cellphone use is a violation because it distracts your attention and you can unknowingly put yourself in harms way. This brings up the next important point: Be Alert, always be alert.

Be aware of all moving objects. Be extra alert as you approach a large truck. Avoid blind spots around trucks if you can’t see the trucks side mirrors the truck driver can’t see you. Before you operate a piece of heavy machinery you must first be trained by an authorized instructor. When traveling keep the loaded bucket low and watch your overhead clearance. When you’re moving with the bucket raised never swing the bucket above anyone’s head when people are in the work area. Never allow people to ride in the bucket or anywhere else on the equipment besides a designated seat for a person.

Employees must maintain a safe distance while the equipment is operating. Employees should be aware about what is going on around the equipment. People on the ground should be communicating with other people in the area about what the equipment is specifically doing.

For heavy haul trucks always maintain a safe distance from equipment and always practice safe driving speeds. Always be aware of other commercial moving equipment and moving pedestrians. Always be in contact with radio communication in case someone is trying to contact you in an emergency.

For locomotive assume that there is a train on the track at any given time. The reality is that trains can come from either direction at any time during the day or night. Obey all warning signs and signals and watch the overhang. Never sit on the edge of the station platform. Stand away from the platform edge and pay attention to warning paint on the ground and raised markings. Stay at least 3 feet from the train when it’s coming in or out of the station. Only cross in designated areas and remember to look both ways before crossing. Watch out for the second track. Two tracks may mean two trains. Make sure all the tracks are clear before crossing. Never walk or run on railroad track. Remember tracks are for trains. Stay away and stay alive.