The ability to work with heavy machinery is a highly desirable skill in many industries. Part of the reason why employees who work with heavy machinery are so valuable is because such machinery is incredibly dangerous. If you are interested in learning how to work with heavy machinery, safety must be your first priority. Here are some things you should remember to make sure you stay safe while you work.
Wear Protective Gear
Each different machine will have its own rules and regulations. However, regardless of the type of machinery with which you work, you must wear the required protective gear. Though you might be comfortable with certain machines more than others, you should still always wear the proper equipment to make sure you stay safe. Some examples of protective gear you might have to wear when working with heavy machinery include a hard hat, goggles, fall gear, gloves, and high visibility vests.
Get Proper Instruction Before Use
Before even mounting a piece of equipment or machinery, it’s essential that you know how the machine operates and have been properly trained on its use. In addition to learning from other workers, you should review the manufacturer’s operation and maintenance manual. You should follow lockout tagout procedures like many workplaces that operate machinery. If there is a certain aspect of the machine with which you feel uncomfortable, you should wait to receive more training before using it.
Avoid Complacency Like the Plague
If safety is your priority (and it should be), you must avoid complacency like the plague. Use an abundance of caution, even if you feel it is unnecessary. Many people justify themselves by saying that because they’ve worked with a particular machine 100 times without wearing their PPE, it must not be important. But the minute you start rationalizing away your PPE and protocols is the minute you get hurt. It’s not worth saving five minutes by neglecting your equipment or protocols if the cost is your health or your life. Make sure you are careful in getting on and off pieces of machinery.
Make sure that there are no people in the area where you are using a piece of heavy machinery. Obey the prescribed payload recommendations. Always wear your seatbelt. Use a spotter to help you back up. Use caution in adverse weather or in other obstructions. Obeying these few simple rules every time you use a piece of heavy machinery can save your life.
You can ensure your safety when working with heavy machinery by wearing the proper protective gear, receiving the proper training before use, and exercising an abundance of caution.
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