When construction equipment is rumbling around a project, watch your step! To minimize accidents, both construction workers AND equipment operators should keep their eyes open and be aware of their surroundings at all times. The following are ways to help you maintain a healthy respect for cranes, dozers, excavators, lifts and trucks:
- Equipment operators may not see you. Don't take for granted that they do.
- Hearing a horn or other warning signal is unreliable – it might be lost in the general noise around a project.
- Make sure someone checks the blind spots and gives signals before backing up on any equipment. Most accidents occur when equipment is traveling backwards...so keep in the clear to be safe!
- Swinging counterweights often create a dangerous pinch-point. Don't ever get into a spot where you could get squeezed in between.
- Hitching a ride on the running board can be fatal. It's easy to fall under moving equipment. Avoid it at all times.
- Riding on top of loaded trucks is equally dangerous! Because the load might shift, you may not have enough overhead clearance in a tight spot.
- Keep your arms, legs, and all parts of your body inside the unit when riding in a transport vehicle.
- Never walk alongside moving equipment. Keep in the clear in case the unit suddenly turns your way, or slides, or the load shifts.
- Stay out from under loads on cranes or hoists. Use established walkways and beware of shortcuts.
- If the boom of a unit ever hits a power line, keep away from the frame of the unit and the load cables.
- Never lubricate, clean or work on a machine that's in operation. Stop the machine. If you must remove a guard, replace it as soon as the work's done.
Construction equipment is husky, heavy, and extremely unhealthy to tangle with. Always assume that the operator doesn't see you; doesn't even know you're around. It is always up to you to keep in the clear.