Transporting heavy equipment from one point to another is a serious challenge in industrial environments throughout the world. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were an estimated 2,077 fatalities in 2017 due to transportation-related incidents with more than 100 killed each year due to mobile heavy equipment. Such equipment includes mobile cranes, loaders, backhoes, and other types of machinery.
Incidents often involve workers getting struck by – or crushed under – heavy equipment. In this blog, we offer a guide on how to mitigate the risks associated with transporting heavy loads within the workplace.
Impart Proper Training
The key to preventing accidents while moving heavy equipment is to ensure that machine operators are properly trained. Organizations across the country (such as the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators) offer training and certification programs to equip operators with the skills and experience required to manage and transport heavy loads. It is of paramount importance that businesses offer readily available training programs to their employees.
Equally important is the need to remain compliant with the ever-changing regulations and guidelines that involve updating operator certifications.
Set Load Limits
At times, operators transport multiple pieces of heavy equipment in a single day. This often leads to them becoming lax and ignoring the set load limits. Also, when lifting heavy objects it is crucial to secure the equipment with the use of proper rigging attachments that have undergone thorough inspection beforehand.
Ensure that the management is alert and observes the entire moving process from beginning to end. This way, other workers can be kept away from moving equipment and any mistakes or faults can be easily identified. Strategically positioned spotters eliminate blind spots and aid in guiding the operator especially if their vision is limited.
Adhere to OSHA Guidelines
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has put forward useful guidelines that prevent workplace accidents especially those pertaining to heavy equipment. Some of these guidelines are as follows:
- Following a 3-point contact rule when mounting and dismounting from heavy equipment transporting machines. This rule states that operators must have a minimum of three points (both legs and an arm or both arms and a leg) in contact when entering or exiting at all times.
- All workers must wear the appropriate gear including safety goggles, gloves, and hard hats.
- Necessary and routine inspections on all machinery must be carried out
- Implementing a “zero-tolerance” policy when it comes to being negligent regarding safety laws and regulations.
The task of overcoming such challenges requires vigilance and consistent adherence to safety guidelines. Hovair Systems Inc. manufactures heavy load moving equipment using the power of pneumatic tools. These tools are affordable, energy-efficient, and easy to use. They also provide the maximum level of safety to workers and are in compliance with industry laws and regulations. Contact us today for more information.