Why is Safety Training for Heavy Equipment Important?

Why is Safety Training for Heavy Equipment Important?

Heavy Equipment Safety Training at Construction Sites is Vital

Many types of heavy equipment are used at construction sites, including cranes, bulldozers, graders, forklifts, excavators, backhoes, compactors and rollers, and many others.  Operating and working in the vicinity of these large machines can obviously be dangerous and that is the main reason why heavy equipment safety training is so important.

The Importance of Safety at Construction Sites

Safety is the most important part of construction site work, and heavy equipment safety training is a large part of ensuring safe construction sites. Every week OSHA reports that an average of 100 workers will lose their life on a job site. That’s more than 14 deaths per day! These deaths generally fall in to what OSHA refers to as Constructions “Fatal Four” which accounts to one in five worker deaths. Eliminating the Fatal Four would save 591 workers’ lives in America per year.

1.       Falls – 338 out of 1,008 total death in construction in CY 2018 (33.5%)

2.       Struck by Object – 112 (11.1%)

3.       Electrocutions – 86 (8.5%)

4.       Caught-in/between- 55 (5.5%)

A company with a good safety culture incorporates safety into the core values of the company. Along with ethics, quality control, and production. When it comes to safety at construction sites it is very important to have safety rules in place so that you prevent accidents. Construction is a particularly dangerous field, and without safety guidelines, problems can quickly arise.

Putting construction site safety first can help reduce costs as well! Accidents can lead to lawsuits, project delays and also cost overruns. Creating and promoting an effective safety program and also a culture of safety throughout your company will not only make your employees and fellow staff members feel safe, but it will also help prevent accidents and or death.


How to Manage Site Safety and Incorporate Heavy Equipment Safety Training

When it comes to site safety management, you must be sure to take the proper steps to keep not only yourself safe but everyone working on your site, and that includes heavy equipment safety training for your operators and employees.

  1. Make sure that everyone on your site has received the proper training. Training is a great tool to make sure that your employees know how to safely operate that machinery they are working with. Companies like Total Equipment Training are here to ensure that your employees are armed with the most up to date safety procedures.
  2. Be sure that everyone has the proper attire to complete the job. PPE is incredibly important in preventing injury and protecting your workers in the case that there is an accident.
  3. Having a morning meeting each day to have an informal talk about safety, and the tasks for the day can help improve your employees understanding of safety expectations which will greatly minimize any chance for accident and or error.
  4. Be sure everyone understands that it is everyone’s responsibility to follow all safety rules and procedures.
  5. If possible, it is also a great idea to appoint a safety manager at the job site. This person will be in charge of setting a good example for your other employees and ensuring that the safety guidelines are being followed.

Why should crane inspections be done?

Cranes should be inspected frequently. Frequent Inspection includes inspecting all aspects of the crane before and after use. The inspector should pay special attention to the hoist brake, load chain, wire rope, hook, and latch, and listen carefully for any unusual sounds coming from the crane or any of its components. Performing daily inspections can help prevent the chances of a major breakdown or a serious injury, which it were to happen, would cost the company a large amount of money not only to fix the crane but also the liability insurance for the operator who is hurt.

At least every 12 months, mobile cranes must be inspected by a qualified person. Disassembly is required, as necessary, to complete the inspection. In addition, the equipment must be inspected for all of the following:

  • Equipment structure (including boom and, if equipped, jib)
  • Sheaves and drums for cracks or significant wear
  • Parts such as pins, bearings, shafts, gears, rollers and locking devices for distortion, cracks or significant wear
  • Brake and clutch system parts, linings, pawls and ratchets for excessive wear.
  • Safety devices and operational aids
  • Gasoline, diesel, electric or other power plants for safety-related problems (leaking exhaust and emergency shutdown feature) and conditions and proper operation
  • Chains and chain drive sprockets for excessive wear of sprockets and excessive chain stretch
  • Travel steering, brakes and locking devices for proper operation
  • Tires for damage or excessive wear
  • Hydraulic, pneumatic and other pressurized hoses, fittings and tubing
  • Hydraulic and pneumatic pumps and motors
  • Hydraulic and pneumatic valves
  • Hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders
  • Outrigger and stabilizer pads
  • Slider pads
  • Electrical components and wiring
  • Warning labels and decals (missing or unreadable)
  • Originally equipped operator seat (or equivalent)
  • Originally equipped steps, ladders, handrails, guards

Any part of the manufacturer’s procedures regarding inspections that relate to safe operation that is more comprehensive or has a more frequent schedule of inspection than the requirements outlined above must be followed.

All inspection documents must be available, during the application document retention period, to all persons who conduct inspections or appointed personnel.

When it comes to crane inspection it is a must to keep up with your crane’s inspection. When operating a crane, no matter if it is daily, weekly or monthly, usage tends to wear important crane components. Routine inspections can help catch any problems and have them fixed before an accident or breakdown can occur. Your crane should be inspected daily before the operation to ensure proper function and safety. Total Equipment Training provides quarterly and yearly inspections to make sure that your crane meets required OSHA standards.

How can I learn more about safety rules and regulations?

It is important that you and your employees are always armed with the most up to date safety procedures. A great place to learn about the current safety guidelines is www.OSHA.gov. On the OSHA website, you will have access to all of the OSHA regulations that relate to your field as well as the requirements to operate your machines in your state. They also offer a newsletter that you can sign up for here.


How can Total Equipment Training help my employees with heavy equipment safety training and safety protocol?

Here at Total Equipment Training, we understand how important it is for your staff to be up to date with the latest safety protocol. Our trainers come with over 10 years of field experience. We come to your place of business and train your employees on your machines. We offer OSHA training, NCCCO Certification Training and online study options. We also offer inspections! Having your equipment inspected on time is a crucial step in ensuring the safety of your employees. If you are interested in our training programs or inspection contact us here.


Barb Fullman- CEO of Total Equipment Training
About the Author

As the owner of Total Equipment Training, Barb Fullman has been an active contributor to the heavy equipment training industry for over 23 years. Barb, a Penn State University graduate, is recognized as the highest ranking women-owned heavy equipment training business in the US. As a leading authority and provider of heavy equipment training, training manuals and tests based on OSHA Standards and Regulations, Total Equipment Trainings’ client list is composed of most of the Fortune 1000 companies focusing on energy, construction, heavy highway, and manufacturing.

Barb’s motto is “Stay safe, stay up to date”. She is committed to up-to-date & technically correct training, whether it is via in-person or through our library of online heavy equipment resources. With over 50 OSHA qualifying training topics to choose from with TET, the most popular heavy equipment training subjects are mobile cranes, NCCCO, all “dirt equipment”, rigging, crane inspections, and train-the-trainer.