Safety Measures When Using Heavy Construction Equipment for Civil Work

Posted on: 12 December 2018

The construction sector is not the safest type of job. Working in dangerous environments with heavy, and sometimes dangerous, materials while surrounded by heavy machinery is commonplace for people working in the construction industry. There are some ways of making working around or in heavy construction equipment safe. To avoid unnecessary risks while working as a civil engineer, there are some things you can think about.

Using a spotter

One thing that can help increase safety on the site of construction in many instances is to use a spotter. As civil construction often is a business performed in quite public areas, people that are not a part of the team can flood the worksite; the spotter can help prevent injury among them. Utilise one of the junior members of the team for this task, as it needs to be a full-time chore when using heavy machinery in certain environments. The task of a spotter is simply to be on the lookout for people who are in danger of being harmed by the machine.

If a large group of civilians has gathered to watch the construction work, just honking the horn probably won't get them to move out of the way. A spotter can tell them to move, as they know about what kind of work you are performing and how much space the operator needs to use the machine. When backing, swinging the equipment around or just operating in an area where there are a lot of people, use a spotter in high-visibility clothing to help guide the operator of the vehicle and clear the area of potential victims of an injury.

Safety accessories for your equipment

For heavy equipment operators, it's essential that the machine is equipped with all the appropriate safety measures. One important thing is to make sure it's easy to get in and out of the vehicle. All machines need to be equipped with proper ladders. It's not always sufficient to use the accessories that are already on the vehicle. Install extra handlebars and steps if the operator finds it necessary to get in and out of the vehicle safely.

Other equipment you might need to add to the machine is devices to make backing up safer. Even if you are using a spotter on the worksite, the operator also needs to feel secure when moving the vehicle backwards. Installing extra wide angled rear-view mirrors can help the operator back more safely. To further add to the safety, you might also want to have rear-mounted cameras or sensors installed. This can be of extra importance for smaller, more mobile equipment like tractors. These types of machines don't just go around the worksite, but also in civil environments where a lot of people can end up behind the vehicle. 

For more information and tips, get in touch with a civil engineering company.