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    Safety Tips | Construction | Machinery

    Work safely with heavy equipment

    August 1, 2011

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    Operating heavy machinery can create significant hazards on a construction site. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health advocates the following practices when working with heavy machinery:

    • General repairs must not be made to powered equipment until workers are protected from the movement of the equipment and its parts. Workers must comply with lockout/tagout when applicable.
    • Engines must be stopped during refueling.
    • All vehicles must be checked for proper operation at the beginning of every shift.
    • Whenever mobile equipment enters a public thoroughfare, traffic controls must be used.
    •  Flaggers – wearing high-visibility safety gear – should be at all locations where barricades and warning signs cannot control moving traffic.

    Jobsite vehicles must be equipped with the following:

    • Operable service, emergency and parking brakes
    • Windshield wipers and defogging equipment as required
    • Safety belts if the vehicle has rollover protection structures
    • Fenders or mud flaps
    • Adequate seating if vehicles are used to transport workers
    • Lights for nighttime operation
    • A manually operated warning device
    • Every vehicle with a body capacity of 2.5 cubic yards or more, or those operating where rear vision is blocked, must be equipped with an automatic back-up alarm.
    • Haulage vehicles must be under operator control and kept in gear when descending grades.
    • Exposed scissor points on front-end loaders must be guarded.
    • Vehicles loaded by cranes, shovels, loaders or similar devices must have an adequate cab or canopy for operator protection.
    • Dust control is required when dust seriously limits visibility. Operators in dusty work environments must use adequate respiratory protection. 
    • Loads on vehicles must be secured against displacement.

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