Safety Tips for Operating Heavy Machinery

No one likes to think of accidents happening on the job, but taking the time to adequately research safety tips when you are arranging heavy machinery hire for an upcoming project can go a long way in giving you and your team peace of mind.

Providing employment, development and many other essential services to cities, towns and communities around the world, the construction industry is a constantly evolving, changing field. It can also be one of the most dangerous industries – particularly when it comes to heavy machinery use. Each year, a large number of accidents are reported across construction sites in South Africa alone. Many of these accidents can be prevented when proper precautions and rules are followed, which is why it is so important that foremen and site managers take equipment safety seriously.

heavy machinery hire

Tool Safety Tips for Heavy Equipment Hire

What are some of the steps and measures that can be taken to ensure that safety is the top priority when investing in heavy equipment hire in Pinetown or anywhere else in SA? Let’s take a look…

  • Invest in Training

One of the most effective ways to ensure that tools are used safety is to ensure that all staff on the project are fully trained, experienced and authorised to use the machinery your project requires. As most heavy machines used in construction are extremely technical, with specific functions, systems and operating procedures, training is not simply a case of quick instruction an hour before the work starts. Workers should be skilled at using specialised equipment, so whether that means investing in extensive training to ensure that your team is skilled and equipped to use specific machines, or having a commitment to hiring the right tradesmen for the job, training is something you cannot afford to skip.

  • Set a Slower Pace

Mistakes and accidents happen when people rush things or move too quickly. For large scale machinery, slow and steady is always best. Make sure that machine operators take their time, and that they are fully aware when using the machines. Trying to cut corners (or deadlines) is not only a sure way to affect quality; it’s also a good way to increase the risk of accidents. Try not to let unrealistic project deadlines cause rushes and set a slower pace that allows machines to be used carefully and safely at all times.

  • Always Pay Attention

On the job, there are dozens of distractions at any given moment because of everything going on around you. A leading cause of mishaps on a construction site involves workers not paying attention to the task at hand. Staying focused on what you’re doing and the machine you’re operating saves you from mistakes, and it saves lives. Stay on task and you’ll stay safe.

  • Follow Basic Safety Rules

 When hiring equipment and tools, a full set of safety guidelines is usually provided as a reference. But even when guidelines are not given, it is the responsibility of site managers, foremen and workers to follow basic safety rules when using any machinery or hazardous equipment. Keep a list printed out somewhere visible and ensure that all machine operators follow these rules religiously. Some of the most important rules include the following:

  1. Operator manuals for all equipment used should be given to equipment operators and vehicle maintenance employees for review;
  2. Operators should always wear appropriate clothing and protective equipment (including hearing protection, work gloves, work shirt and pants, safety footwear, reflective vests, hard hat and any other items required for specific jobs);
  3. Establish hand signals if ground workers are present, and use them at all times;
  4. Conduct regular equipment inspections – for hired tools and owned tools;
  5. Invest in good quality tools and hire equipment only from trusted providers;
  6. Fill tank with fuel when the equipment is cool and the engine is turned off;

With these guidelines in mind, you should be able to hire heavy machines that can be used safely and properly on any project – whatever the size or scope.