The Hazards of Operating Heavy Machinery


Those working in construction sites or places where heavy machinery is used are well-aware of its dangers. According to the Center for Construction and Research Training, more than a 100 people die in accidents involving heavy equipment each year. These accidents usually include mobile cranes, backhoes, surfacing machinery, excavators, loaders, tractors, and bulldozers.

Operators and personnel are required to abide by strict safety regulations in order to prevent any serious injuries or death.

In this blog, we take a look at the hazards of operating heavy machinery.

Examples of Hazardous Machinery

Heavy machinery is responsible for many deaths each year, but it isn’t the size of the machinery itself that is dangerous to workers, rather a number of other critical factors.

These factors include a lack of training, improper handling, not equipping workers with proper safety gear, and failing to place hazard signs near dangerous areas.

The following is a list of hazardous equipment used within the construction sector:

  • Cranes: Cranes are responsible for the most number of deaths within the construction sector. Surprisingly, the biggest danger isn’t to the workers tasked with handling the machinery but instances such as an accidental falling of load and unbalancing of the crane results in injuries to those nearby.
  • Bulldozers:Bulldozers are the strongest and heaviest of all equipment. People are known to get trapped inside or beneath bulldozers or get crushed by one that rolls over due to an imbalance.
  • Backhoes:Although backhoes aren’t as big as bulldozers or cranes, they’re especially dangerous because of the digging bucket found on the back and a massive shovel at the front making it dangerous at both ends.
  • Dump trucks:Similar to other entries on the list, dump trucks are huge and pose a danger to anyone nearby but that’s not the only way they’re known to cause harm. These trucks raise their back end to unload the content; since they do so using a hydraulic press, mechanical failure can cause the back end to come crashing down harming anyone in its way.
  • Excavators: Excavators are included in OSHA’s10 most hazardous construction equipment. A hydraulic malfunction of the overhead utility can cause the entire machine to topple over.

Accidents related to heavy equipment can only be reduced by providing proper training and knowledge to the machine operators as well as those working nearby. Also, employers should carry out strict disciplinary action against any breach of security protocol.

Unfortunately, as long as heavy machinery is used, there will always be accidents due to human error. Instead of relying on such heavy, expensive, and dangerous equipment to move loads, businesses can switch to pneumatic or air-powered tools that prove to be more effective and safe.

Hovair produces pneumatic tools that make moving heavy loads much easier. Contact us today for more information.


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