The importance of safety precautions when using heavy equipment


If you work in construction, manufacturing or any other industry that requires you to move or use heavy equipment, the risk of danger can be around every corner. These are the two industries that have the most workplace deaths, which shows how important taking safety precautions on-site is.

If you’re a business owner, then you’ll want to make sure your workers are handling heavy equipment properly or it could cost you money. This is because injuries mean staff members can’t work, so you may have to pay them while they recover or you may be taken to court and sued for having a lack of safety precautions in place.

So, whether you’re a worker or manage several staff members who handle heavy equipment, our handy guide below will highlight how you can keep injury to a minimum.

Staying safe while carrying and lifting

Handling accidents is one of the most common injuries you can suffer from work and can lead to problems such as back pain, broken limbs, muscle problems and heart issues. The risk of these injuries is heightened when working with heavy objects, so try the following to reduce the chances of injuring yourself:

Plan the lift

Before any lifting can happen, come up with a plan to ensure the move goes smoothly. Consider the weight of the item and whether it is safe to carry alone. Some items may be too heavy to be carried by hand and require a crane or hoist. Be sure to keep the heavy equipment more secure using lifting slings if this is the case.

Think about the safety equipment you might need while carrying the item too. Steel-capped boots and a high-visibility jacket may be imperative to keeping you and others around safe.

Consider your positioning

If you can lift it by yourself, make sure your body is positioned properly by doing the following:

  • Keep your back in a neutral position and bend your knees
  • Make sure the load is as close to your body as possible at all times
  • Keep your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Ensure you have a good grip at all times
  • Lift with your legs
  • Look forward to lifting

During the carry

Now the object is in the air, ensure you try these tips to reduce the risk of dropping the item or hurting yourself:

  • Take short steps, so it’s predominately your leg muscles doing the work instead of your smaller arm or back ones
  • Avoid twisting or turning while lifting
  • Set the item down if you need a rest

Putting the item down

Once you’ve taken the heavy equipment to its final destination, continue to keep your back straight and bend at the knees until the item touches the ground. Give the object one final inspection to make sure it’s not causing a tripping hazard for other employees.

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