Being struck by an object, including machinery, is one of the leading causes of construction-related fatalities. Even though heavy equipment is often slow-moving, it can still be hazardous. Heavy equipment has changed how workers do their jobs by making it much more efficient. However, it has also changed their responsibilities regarding safety as well. Being safe around heavy equipment means more than just wearing a hard hat (although that is important too!).
If you are injured, you may be able to assert a workers’ compensation claim or even a personal injury claim. A New Jersey heavy equipment accident attorney can help you with this process. Nonetheless, you can use the tips and information outlined here to cut down on the occurrence of heavy equipment accidents.
- Communication is Key
When you work around heavy equipment, communicating with others is critical if you want to avoid accidents. Know where an equipment driver is going and stay out of the way if you can. You should also let others know when you think you will be working or moving through a piece of equipment’s path or working area. Two-way radios often work best, but hand signals can be useful as well.
- Be Wary of Blind Spots
Some equipment is so large that they have significant blind spots. Mirrors and technology that shows what is directly behind you are often not available in large equipment. That means that drivers need to be extremely aware of checking their blind spots while workers going by also need to know what a driver’s blind spots are and avoid them if possible.
Use spotters as necessary, and be sure to wear clothing that increases your visibility. High-visibility vests are almost always mandatory—and there is a reason for that!
- Get Trained
Large equipment is often similar but driving or running that type of machinery can vary significantly. You should only operate equipment that you have been adequately trained and certified to run. Hands-on training and licensing are often required to run specific pieces of equipment.
You should also avoid goofing off or messing around with the equipment as well. Make smart choices when it comes to running machinery around others—always err on the side of safety.
- Use Proper Mounting and Dismounting Techniques
You may be surprised to learn just how many people are injured merely by getting in and out of their equipment. Heavy equipment often has unnatural and awkward stairs or ladders that must be used to gain access to the controls.
Be sure to maintain a three-point contact whenever possible. That is—you should use both hands and one foot, or both feet and one hand to get in or out of the equipment. Be sure to report any damage to the equipment that inhibits your ability to get in the machine effectively.
You should always follow standard safety procedures around heavy equipment. Although those rules and regulations can be cumbersome, they are there for a reason. If you have been injured despite following these safety precautions, you may have a legal claim. Contact the New Jersey & New York construction accident attorneys today to learn more about your potential legal options.