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Heavy Equipment Hazards

​This Tailgate Talk is part of the NLTAPA collection.

Heavy equipment is designed to handle very large volumes or heavy loads. Therefore, these are powerful machines that are dangerous to everyone around them if they are not operated correctly. It is important to remember the proper methods used to move them from one site to another and how to work around their operation.

Guide for Discussion

General Rules When Heavy Equipment Is Nearby

  • Always remain alert to the equipment moving around you.

  • Do not get near moving equipment unless necessary.

  • Never ride on equipment unless it has been designed to carry you. This means it must have a seat and a seat belt.

  • Do not walk along beside equipment. If it is necessary to travel with a piece of equipment, walk in front or behind it.

  • Try to stay in view of the operator. You must remain in view of the operator when working in an excavation or trenching if you are the “top man.”

Rules for Transporting Heavy Equipment

  • Inspect all transporting equipment and make sure it is all in good working condition.

  • Always provide for the protection of the general public.

  • Wear safety shoes.

  • Estimate the center of gravity for the equipment to be loaded.

  • Always load equipment slowly onto its carrier.

  • If equipment is to be driven off-site, make sure the steering, braking, and light systems are in good operating condition.

  • Tightly secure the piece of equipment to its carrier.

  • Be sure that the boom or any other extensions of the equipment are tightly secured. If working with others, be sure to work as a team.

  • Keep your hands dry and as free of grease and oil as possible.

  • Always keep the loading area free of debris and unnecessary tools.

Additional Discussion Notes

What does your department do to further protect the general public? For example, use a flagger or barricade the work area.

Remember: A little mistake with heavy equipment can easily become a major accident that causes severe injury or even death.

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