For safe equipment operation, get back to basics!
Although considerable efforts have been made to improve on-site safety, construction remains one of the most hazardous sectors to work in. The industry has embraced new technologies and equipment manufacturers are working very hard to produce machines that will keep operators and their co-workers safe. But it is not just manufacturers and the industry who can take measures to improve safety. By getting back to the basics, you can also play a role. Your own individual safety efforts, however small, can lead to big results!
Here are six small efforts you can make that will lead to big safety results!
1) Get to know your machine
Many accidents are caused by falling from a machine or being caught in running machinery. The key to avoiding these risks is to know your machine’s capabilities and limitations. Choose the most suitable equipment for the job and get acquainted with the functionalities and features it offers. Also make sure you know the size of your machine, including specifications such as its counterweight swing radius, transportation dimensions and weight.
2) Keep your equipment in tip-top shape
Neglecting your machinery can put you and your surroundings in danger. Periodic maintenance is key. Plan regular check-ups into your daily routine. Make a habit of checking the condition of your equipment at the beginning of each workday. Take a short walk around the machine to verify the fluid levels. Inspect the undercarriage to make sure it is in good condition. Perform a hydraulic system check-up. Give the engine and hydraulics some time to warm up. And when the working day is over, give the engine some time to cool down before shutting it off. Greasing is crucial if you want to extend the lifetime of your equipment. So is regular cleaning. Remove any excess dirt in the undercarriage and clean your radiators/air filters on a regular basis. Failing to clean your machine can lead to permanent damage from heavy mud, especially in cold areas.
3) Plan each job carefully
Make sure you use the right accessories for each specific job and make sure all chains, cables, belts, structures and other components are in good condition. Remove or avoid objects that could obstruct your vision and ensure that your construction site is well lit at night. In order to maintain a safe working environment, arrange for construction site inspections to be carried out frequently.
4) Take care of yourself
Most construction equipment accidents happen when getting in or out of the machine! Stay alert and make sure you have a good grip on the handrail. Follow the safety protocols and use the required personal protection equipment (safety shoes, goggles, gloves, helmet, fluo jacket, etc.). Before you leave your seat, deactivate the machine hydraulics and follow the proper parking procedures. Never operate the machine if you are not seated. The seat belt is there for a reason.
5) Keep an eye on your surroundings and co-workers
Accidents in which people are hit by construction equipment are all too frequent. It is essential that you know your blind spots and keep an eye on your surroundings – and that your colleagues do the same. Co-workers should make eye contact with the driver when in the vicinity of working equipment. Be aware that when you are in control of a powerful machine, cleaning and correct positioning of all mirrors is very important. It is sometimes hard to detect people working around your machines. Make sure you have good all-round visibility and guidance. Camera systems like Hyundai’s Advanced-Around View Monitoring (AAVM) have clearly proven benefits. This system acts as an extra pair of eyes, warning you when anything comes close to your machine. The AAVM system also integrates Intelligent Moving Object Detection (IMOD) which alerts the operator to the presence of people or moving objects.
Proper machine handling is another safety-critical factor. Many accidents could be prevented by proper training and use of the necessary safety protocols by operators. Training, safety meetings and strict safety procedures all make an important contribution to further improve safety.
Responsibility for site safety is not limited to industry regulators and machine manufacturers. You also have a crucial role to play in making construction sites a safer environment to work in. Most of the accidents in our industry can be prevented by getting back to the basics – and even the tiniest efforts can lead to big results.
Want to learn more about specific safety measures for your machine?
Your Hyundai Construction Equipment dealer can help. Get in touch!