Seven Tips for Avoiding Heavy Equipment Accidents in New Jersey

By Greg Kohn

Heavy equipment, such as cranes, backhoes, forklifts, and bulldozers, perform important functions on a construction site. However, accidents and injuries involving heavy equipment can result in life-threatening conditions. With the proper training and safety procedures, some of these accidents may be avoided.

In this blog, our New Jersey heavy equipment accident attorneys discuss seven ways that employers and employees can avoid heavy equipment accidents.

7 Tips That Can Help Avoid Accidents Involving Heavy Equipment

1. Only Use Machinery With Proper Training

One of the common reasons for heavy equipment accidents is improper training. Employees should only operate equipment after receiving hands-on training to ensure the employee understands how to operate the machinery safely. In some cases, an employee must obtain a certain license or certificate to operate certain heavy machinery.
2. Wear Protecting Safety Gear
Another common reason why employees are injured is the lack of safety gear. When operating heavy machinery or working near heavy machinery, a worker should utilize all recommended and approved safety equipment and gear to prevent injuries. Examples of safety gear typically used in areas where heavy machinery is used include steel-toed work boots, gloves, goggles, earplugs, and hard hats.
3. Create a Plan for Defective or Malfunctioning Equipment
Even when heavy machinery is being used correctly, injuries may occur if the machine begins to malfunction or is defective. Employers need to institute a work plan that instructs employees on what they should do if a machine begins to operate in an unreliable or inconsistent manner. Any issues with heavy machinery should be reported immediately to supervisors and employers.
4. Clear Communication is Essential
Employees always need to be aware of moving machinery and heavy equipment. Communication with heavy equipment drivers and operators can often avoid a tragic accident. Hand signals and two-way radios can help employees avoid being in the path of heavy equipment.
5. Try to Prevent Blind Spots
Because some heavy equipment is large, the equipment operator may not be able to see all areas around the equipment. Large blind spots can result in injuries and deaths. Using mirrors and other technology can help operators avoid collisions and other accidents. Employees should be trained on how to use various methods to avoid blind spot accidents.
6. Use Heavy Equipment for Its Intended Purpose
Many pieces of heavy equipment are only intended to be used for one very specific and narrow purpose. Accidents can occur when a piece of heavy equipment is used for work other than work it was designed to handle.
7. Always Maintain Heavy Equipment
Heavy equipment should be routinely inspected and maintained to avoid any issues that could cause an accident. Employers and employees should be aware of and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for inspection and maintenance schedules.

New Jersey Construction Accident Lawyers

Accidents are common on construction sites. Some accidents are unavoidable while other accidents occur because of negligence. Contact our team at Nagel Rice, LLP today if you are injured by a piece of heavy machinery. Our New Jersey construction accident lawyers can help you determine your legal options for filing an injury or accident claim.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.