Forklifts, conveyors, drills, and milling machines are just a handful of heavy equipment. These machines and more help the construction and manufacturing industries thrive. That said, this equipment is dangerous, so employees can benefit from learning the must-know heavy machinery safety tips below. These tips are mainly targeted at supervisors and business owners so they can set the right tone for the work environment and encourage the right practices among their workforce.
Thoroughly Train Your Team
Any employee operating heavy machinery in a facility should have the proper training and certification for doing so. Training goes far beyond telling the employee how to move a forklift’s forks up and down. Heavy machinery training should feature a thorough education in proper handling, safety inspections, and other essential guidelines; each machine is different, so each training criteria will be different.
Novice mistakes with heavy machinery can have dire results. Setting up a training and certification program for your employees can minimize novice mistakes from causing chaos in the workplace.
Prioritize Clear Communication
When heavy machinery is functioning in the workplace, clear communication between employees is essential. The biggest example of clear communication’s importance is spotting. If a forklift operator can’t safely back up because of a blind spot, they should have a spotter behind them to ensure they aren’t running into nearby equipment or personnel.
Provide your team with two-way radios so they can clearly communicate with one another. A spotter shouldn’t have to yell over workplace noise when speaking with a forklift operator; situations like this can lead to dangerous miscommunications.
Install the Right Safety Technology
Your team should have the proper personal protective equipment, but your work environment needs safety equipment, too. For instance, employees operating in elevated work areas must have a means of fall protection. Besides safety harnesses and lifelines, OSHA-compliant guard rails can protect employees from falling off ledges and other high-up areas. Furthermore, outfitting certain equipment with the right machine guarding tech is an essential OSHA standard to abide by. Components such as pulleys and gears need protective barriers to keep employees safe from scenarios such as limbs becoming caught between moving parts. Understanding the importance of machine guarding is something anyone overseeing a workplace must prioritize.
As you can see, there’s a lot of factors to consider regarding responsible heavy machinery operations. Workplace accidents involving heavy machinery are more common than they should be. Thankfully, following these must-know heavy machinery safety tips can help you succeed where others have unfortunately failed.