Top 5 Heavy Equipment Safety Tips for Incident Prevention

bailey_hudson - September 21, 2020

Heavy equipment is essential in all construction works. While appropriate training and commitment to follow safety procedures are instrumental to prevent accidents, the risk of such incidents cannot be totally eliminated. However, it can be reduced to the barest minimum if appropriate safety measures are followed.

Moreover, according to the United States Department of Labor, in 2018, about 5,250 workers died because of job-related injuries. Here’s the sad part. Twenty-one percent of the casualties are in construction.

The fatalities were ascribed to electrocution, falling objects, some are caused by heavy equipment accidents. Despite the level of training the operators have, there are always essential tips that will help construction firms avoid such injuries.

Here are 5 of the best heavy equipment safety tips to prevent unwanted incidents.

Implement an incident control tool
Accidents happen when you least expect it. For this reason, you need to implement an incident control plan in order. This will allow you to analyze, identify, control, correct risks and prevent incidents from happening in the future.

For David Rowland, Head of Marketing at Engage EHS(, health and safety is the responsibility of everyone in an organization. This may seem tough, but the payoffs are huge: increased productivity of workers, increased bottom line, and greater consumer confidence.

Furthermore, this will help you fix any distractions and even grant you access with immediate assistance in case an accident happens. However, we strongly suggest you get the appropriate incident management tool. This will help you deal with the problem effectively while you conduct your business at the same time.

Provide sufficient training for operators
It’s important for an operator to have the proper training. Let’s face it, this is not something you can learn on trial and error. Heavy equipment presents a grave danger not just to the operator but to the other workers in the construction site as well.

We highly suggest that your operators have at least basic mechanical training. This doesn’t mean that you require them to fix the machine on their own, but they should be able to identify if anything is wrong with the equipment. On the other hand, if you’re working with contractors, try to see if they have this certification in place.

Be cautious all the time
Remind your operators to be cautious at all times and never leave anything to chance. This is especially true when they are operating heavy machinery. Being cautious means that you give your environment a good feel and always be mindful of the obstacles and unsafe spots.

Some of the things you need to watch out for are electrical cables, gas, sewer, barriers, etc. When you separate these areas, there’s an almost 100% chance that you’ll avoid such incidents. Likewise, make sure that you only allow the right workers in the area where you’re operating.

You must avoid crowding at all times. This doesn’t just lower the risk of accidents but it leaves the operator more space to do his work.

Check the equipment before use
You’re always checking your car regularly, yes? If you can do this in your car, I’m sure you can do this to your heavy equipment as well. Of course, you let professional mechanics do the job but you need the machine as often as possible.

This will allow you to use the machine efficiently every time you use it and the best part? This will ensure a longer lifespan of the equipment. While it’s important that you place this responsibility with your operator, it wouldn’t hurt if you check this personally if you have the time.

Likewise, heavy equipment training says that you need to check your machine before you use it. Some of the things you need to check our tires, fluid levels, make sure that it’s running on enough and good engine oil, etc. Also, check the moving parts as well.

In addition, only let the professionals work on the major issues and make sure that the machine is in a proper parking position when performing maintenance work.

Always wear proper protective equipment
Never go into the construction site without having complete protective gear especially if you’re working or at work with heavy equipment. Make sure you’re wearing high visibility clothing, fall protection equipment, etc. The key is to never compromise your safety just because wearing it feels weird and uncomfortable.