Heavy equipment operation can be dangerous, inefficient, and costly if done incorrectly. To help promote jobsite safety and avoid hazardous situations, we’ve put together a heavy equipment checklist of things operators should do before beginning work each shift, along with features your equipment should include.
Inspect machines before heavy equipment operation
The first thing on any heavy equipment checklist is to ensure your machine is ready to work before each shift. Catching small issues during an inspection will help prevent potentially dangerous and time consuming situations later in the day.
- Brakes – Check the service brake systems, parking brakes, and emergency brake systems to make sure they are fully functional and in good condition.
- Windshield – Make sure your windshield is free of cracks or chips, and fix any you find before they become worse. Plus, test out the wiper blades to ensure they are working well.
- Horns and lights – Try out your horn and check the headlights, taillights, and brake lights before beginning heavy equipment operation.
- Worn or broken parts – Damaged or defective components must be repaired or replaced before beginning work each shift.
Watch out for site hazards
The next thing operators should do on their heavy equipment checklist is make note of any hazards in the work area. Check all parts of the jobsite to ensure there aren’t any obstructions and that the ground you’ll be operating on is well built and maintained to take the weight of your heavy equipment. Pay close attention for stumps, large rocks, steep slopes, unstable ground, and avoid operating your machines under overhead wires.
Choose the right features
All pieces of heavy equipment need to have protection for falling debris and rollovers. Machines that are loaded from the top should feature cab shields or canopies that help ensure operator safety while loading and unloading. Modification of safety features or equipment capacity must receive written approval from the machine’s manufacturer.
Operator training is crucial
Every equipment operator must be trained for the specific machine they will be operating. They should be able to recognize any defective parts, abnormal operation, or unsafe jobsites.