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Preventing Heavy Equipment Accidents on Construction Sites and in Factories

operating a forkliftThere is a lot of heavy equipment and machinery used on construction sites and in factories, from cranes, forklifts and tractors to lathe machines, vertical machining centers and drilling machines. These machines are necessary to get the job done, but they are also very dangerous.

Below, learn more about how to avoid accidents with heavy equipment on construction sites and in factories. If an accident occurs, you could be owed workers’ compensation benefits for your hospital bills and a portion of the wages you lose while you are unable to work.

Main Causes of Heavy Equipment Accidents

Heavy equipment found on construction sites and in factories causes numerous injuries each year. Some of the leading causes of heavy equipment accidents include:

Lack of Maintenance

Poorly-maintained machinery poses a risk to those using it and those in the nearby area. Heavy equipment such as forklifts, cranes and vehicles have the potential to malfunction if not carefully maintained.

When maintenance on this equipment is lacking, warning systems may also malfunction. For instance, forklifts often have alert systems to warn people in the area the forklift is in use. If the alert system is broken, pedestrians in the area may not be warned and possibly get hit by the forklift.

Defective equipment should be pulled out of service until repairs are made. Returning a piece of equipment to service before the proper repairs are completed puts workers who use the equipment in danger of sustaining injuries.

Improper Training

Heavy equipment requires specialized training to operate safely and correctly. When workers do not receive adequate training on the proper and safe use of this machinery, accidents can occur.

Workers need to be properly supervised while they are using equipment as well. Sometimes workers are not aware of all the dangers in the area while they are operating the equipment. Proper supervision helps prevent the worker using the equipment from doing something that endangers himself or herself, or others in the area.  

Failing to Inspect Equipment

Heavy equipment should be inspected once a day before it is used. Workers should have a checklist of things to review to ensure the machine is in proper working order. For instance, workers should check hydraulic hoses, stress points, oil levels, obstructions that could prevent proper functioning, and the undercarriage.

What You Can Do to Lower the Risk of an Accident

There are a few important steps you should take when working with heavy equipment on the job to protect yourself and reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.

  1. Keep machine-guarding equipment on at all times - This safety equipment protects workers from safety dangers when using machinery on the job, such as sparks and flying chips. Light curtains, barrier guards and two-hand operating devices should be used where warranted.
  2. Wear required safety equipment - Depending on the machinery used on the job, safety equipment such as hard hats, safety glasses, steel-toed boots and more may be required. Use this safety equipment when operating machinery or if it is nearby to prevent injuries and fatalities.
  3. Stay out of the way of operating or moving machinery - If someone is operating a piece of heavy machinery, do not bother him or her. These machines require focus to operate and breaking the focus of the operator could pose a risk to you and others nearby. Stay away from moving parts, as touching a moving component of a heavy piece of equipment can result in serious injuries.
  4. Keep away from machines that are unloading - Make sure you do not get in the way of a truck that is being loaded, as a malfunction in the loading process could cause items to be dropped.
  5. Only operate machinery that you are properly trained to operate - Correct use of heavy machinery requires specialized training by someone who knows how to do so. Attempting to operate heavy machinery without proper training puts you and others at risk.
  6. Keep in communication with others working nearby - Radios or hand signals and a spotter with proper training help keep everyone on a jobsite safe and aware of their surroundings.

Schedule Your Free Consultation Today

If you were injured in an accident at your workplace, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits that cover your related medical bills and a portion of your lost wages. Our Bakersfield workers’ compensation attorneys fight to secure the benefits injured workers deserve.

Request a free, no obligation consultation and our legal team will review your case. There are no upfront legal fees and expenses are only owed if we recover compensation in your case.

For a free case evaluation with Berry, Smith & Bartell, a Professional Law Corporation call 1-800-848-6288 today!

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