Safety is a concern in every workplace. It might come as a surprise to some employees that their own safety, as well as the safety of their coworkers, is not reliant on the mechanical health of company equipment alone. In fact, the way you handle the training your company provides to you, as well as the safety guidelines of the workplace, go just as far to ensure safety as properly working equipment does. Let’s examine the three main components of workplace safety and the conservative guidelines that should be followed in each.
Safety Component One: Equipment Safety
- Make sure that equipment is inspected each day before it is used. Some of the items to look for include:
- Are the headlights and taillights functioning properly?
- Do the reverse lights and sounds work?
- Do the brakes (including the emergency brake) work?
- Is the windshield free from any obstruction?
- Ensure that the equipment is maintained on a regular schedule. Your company should have a routine maintenance schedule for all heavy equipment. Be certain to adhere to the schedule.
- Be aware of new problems. If you are the normal operator of a piece of equipment and notice that it is not behaving as efficiently or it’s in a state of disrepair, bring your concerns to the attention of your supervisor immediately.
- Always use the equipment as you were trained to and in a manner consistent with what the equipment was developed for.
Safety Component Two: Training
- If you use heavy equipment, make sure you fully understand how to use it and inspect it. If you believe your prior training is insufficient, make sure to mention that and ask for additional resources.
- Stay up-to-date with the various hand signals that OSHA requires crane operators and signal men to utilize. Realizing that you’ve forgotten some of the signals right as you need to use them is extremely dangerous. If you were to communicate the wrong message, you could be putting yourself and others at serious risk.
- Take all workplace training seriously and always pay attention to the task at hand.