Heavy equipment isn’t something we take lightly
At CH2M, we’re committed to safety; in fact, working safely is embedded into everything we do.
For 10 months we’re focusing on a different hazard – the Top 10 safety hazards that reflect the most common risks and hazards we face every day in our jobs at CH2M, and we’re sharing the actions we can take to stay safe. This month we’re discussing the best ways to stay safe around heavy equipment.
Working with or around heavy equipment is dangerous. One of the most common issues involves striking underground utilities. Industry specialists report that 700,000 underground utility lines are struck during excavation work each year, often with lethal consequences. That’s more than one strike per minute.
Use these 10 tips if you’re working with or around heavy equipment:
- Be aware and alert around heavy equipment work zones.
- Only trained and certified operators are authorized to operate heavy equipment.
- Before you get behind the wheel, plan your work, and identify any hazards at the work site.
- Know the location of and stay away from utility lines, both overhead and underground.
- Do not operate equipment if you’re tired.
- If in doubt, stop.
- Maintain control at all times.
- Never turn your back on operating equipment.
- Always make eye contact with the operator before approaching a piece of heavy equipment.
- Inspect and maintain heavy equipment according to manufacturer specifications.
Always call your utility companies before you dig. Whether you plan to do the work yourself or hire a professional, call a few days before you plan to begin any digging project.
Homeowners often make risky assumptions about whether or not they should get their utility lines marked, but every digging job requires a call, even small projects such as planting trees and shrubs or when digging in areas that were previously marked.
Many countries have easy ways to reach local utility companies; for example in the U.S. call 811, in Canada visit clickbeforeyoudig.com, and in Australia call 1100.
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