It is important that when operating heavy machinery, it is done in a safe and professional manner. On a construction site, you cannot afford to make mistakes and we want to help you ensure that your employees are safe.
Hazards Associated with Skidsteer Loaders
There are many possible hazards when operating skidsteer loaders and those who are working around them.
Struck-by hazards are a threat to those working around skidsteer loaders. When operating one, it is often in a high traffic area. Blind spots when reversing also creates a risk for struck-by accidents.
Crush-by hazards are another threat to workers on the ground. They could be pinned and crushed against objects if they are in the pathway of a skidsteer. Operators themselves are also at risk of becoming crushed by their own machine.
Roll-over and tipping are common incidents due to the weight imbalance of the machine. Roll-overs can occur when the machine is being operated on an uneven terrain or steep slope. Tipping can also occur due to the size of attachment on the front, or if the bucket is overloaded.
How to Safely Operate a Skidsteer Loader
It may sound obvious, but do not operate a skidsteer loader unless you are properly trained to do so. Accidents can happen with even the most experienced of operators, so remember to carry out daily safety checks before you operate the machine to ensure the safety of yourself and others. Always make sure you and others are wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment such as hardhats and steel toecap boots; these could be the difference between a minor incident and a fatal one.
When operating these machines, you are more than likely in a busy work environment, so you must be aware of employees on foot around you. Always make sure the attachment or bucket is lowered all the way to the ground before you exit the machine or upon someone’s approach, and be aware that there is nobody working near the raised arm. Operating such a machine in a busy environment can be extremely difficult, so make sure that when the bucket is loaded, it is only raised slightly off the ground. If you lose sight of someone who was close to your area, be sure to stop until you know they are safe.
Keep Everyone Safe
Whatever the size, operating machinery can be hazardous. Lack of training and awareness can result in serious life-changing accidents. Take time to assess the potential hazards when using heavy machinery and always follow the correct procedures.