Training Your Employees to be Safe Around Heavy Machinery

Every year, construction companies suffer from liability suits, often times a result of a lack of training on the overseer’s part, and a lack of understanding from the worker’s part.

In 2011 alone, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there were 4,069 workers killed on a construction site, most of which were avoidable. Though some of these problems truly are unavoidable, many of them can be minimized by following simple procedure. Though every company is unique, there are some universal rules that everyone should follow, regardless of status on the construction site.

Here are some tips to avoid some of the most common issues that lead to heavy-machinery related injuries on the construction site:

Know the Machinery

This one is simple. If you don’t know the machinery, you shouldn’t get near it. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t operate it. You actually shouldn’t go near it. In order to be as safe as possible, you need to know how the machine works, along with how it moves and what it has the possibility of doing.

Before stepping onto a construction site, the overseer should make sure that every employee knows how to work every single piece of heavy machinery, regardless of what his or her job is. Though this can seem mundane to some people, it is important, first from a risk standpoint, and second from a legal standpoint. For instance, even if one of the workers typically uses forklifts, they should understand how to operate road crossing ramps. This will exponentially lessen the likelihood of injury.

Know How to Behave

One of the major reasons that people get injured when dealing with heavy machinery has to do with goofing off on the construction site. When people get comfortable, they believe they can do their jobs in their sleep, or while laughing with their friends. What people fail to realize is that one slip-up could cost a life. In order to be responsible, people must take the job seriously. If you’re laughing and having a good time, you’re probably not putting forth your best effort. Wait until you are in a safe environment to tell your friend about the crazy night you had last night. It can wait.

Observe Large Weights

Heavy machinery involves lifting heavy weights. When weights are not properly secured, there is a risk of them getting derailed by wind or bad weather, or just an unfortunate slip. Double and triple check every time you lift something. This might take a little bit more time, but it could save the company millions in liability suits.

Train Others

Training others is crucial. Industrial training doesn’t just happen in an office. It happens on the site, too. If you see someone doing something wrong, teach them how to do it right, or tell your supervisor so they can fix it. Don’t be afraid to call someone out. It will end up helping them in the end. Take the time to teach people. Your superiors will take note if done properly.

Things happen on the construction site. Sometimes these things are unavoidable. While it’s not ideal, it’s all right. What’s not all right is a man-made accident. Be cautious. It’ll be worth it in the end.

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