3 Safety Tips For Working With Construction Vehicles

July 1, 2014

Vehicles and mobile equipment are a common sight at construction sites across the country. Without these valuable resources, workers would have a hard time performing their duties. However, such heavy duty tools also pose a significant safety risk for people either operating the machinery or working around it. 

Therefore, construction companies must implement an effective risk management plan and other crucial strategies to prevent accidents and ensure safe, productive use of vehicles. If these steps aren't taken, it could lead to higher workers' compensation insurance costs and other expenses.

In order to help keep all workers safe, here are three tips for working around construction vehicles:

1. Keep vehicles in good condition
While a number of factors can a play a role in an on-the-job accident, one of the biggest is an unsafe construction vehicle. According to the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration, no employee should be allowed to ride or drive in a piece of equipment that is in poor condition. Instead, all companies should stay on top of regular maintenance and perform routine inspections of all machines to prevent problems from piling up. If an issue is spotted, that vehicle should be taken out of service immediately and fixed as soon as possible.

2. Don't allow for loose equipment or tools
Construction vehicles are useful for many different purposes, but many construction workers use these machines to transport equipment and other tools. However, doing so could pose a significant safety risk. Oregon OSHA recommended securing down all such cargo when moving throughout a worksite, or make sure that a barrier exists to protect the people in the vehicle or on the ground. If these steps haven't been taken, a smaller tool could become a dangerous projectile on the job.

3. Protect workers on the ground
Construction vehicles also pose a safety concern for workers on the ground. According to Occupational Health & Safety Magazine, several steps must be taken to ensure that those operating around a vehicle are in the clear. For starters, all employees must have the right apparel for their duties and so that drivers can see them while moving. In addition, all workers must be communicating with one another regarding vehicle movements. The best risk management practice is awareness. As long as people on the job site know what is happening around them, they can avoid dangerous situations.