At Bobcatco, we talk a lot about heavy machinery, their maintenance, about the rental business and how to make it a profitable venture. One particular aspect of our industry that we don’t discuss a lot, but an aspect that is very important nevertheless is safety protocols.
Better Safety, More Efficient Performance
A construction site can be a dangerous work environment if the proper safety protocols are not followed. When the protocols are followed it leads to a smooth working environment which results in more efficiency and less downtime to complete tasks. It results in a better performance and more project profitability, which is the goal of our business. The most important factor here is that it reduces the risk of damage to the machines and the risk of injury to the operators who work the machines.
Nurturing A Culture Of Safety
Instilling the importance of safety protocols in the operators and other employees involved with the business goes a long way in establishing your rental agency as a trustworthy, reliable organization. Project managers are less inclined to work with operators who neglect the standard procedures or ignore them. Educating the crew about the machine’s capabilities and operations is an investment that reaps benefits in terms of repeated business and increased profits.
The consequences of not stressing on safety can include damage to the machinery, injuries to employees, insurance claims, and a loss of revenue.
For the benefit of our readers, we have listed below a set of universal protocols for operators:
- Follow the warnings and instructions on machine safety signs to avoid situations that can cause serious injuries or death.
- Make sure your machine is properly maintained following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Never modify the machine or used attachments that are not approved by the manufacturer.
- Wear tight-fitting clothing that cannot get caught on controls or working components inside and outside of the machine.
- Always use the designated grab handles and steps when entering or exiting the machine and maintain three points of contact.
- Never attempt to start the engine or operate the controls from outside the machine.
- Always look in the direction of travel (including to the rear before backing up) and check each side before swinging or turning the machine.
- Operate at a low speed in an area without bystanders until you are comfortable using the machine and can operate the machine and attachment safely under all work area conditions.
- Never allow riders on the machine.
- Keep all body parts inside the operator area while operating.
- Before leaving the operator area, lower all equipment to the ground, engage the parking brake (if equipped) and stop the engine. Make sure all controls are in the neutral or parked position.
A safety first approach may sound boring and conservative, but it is the right approach that ensures a smooth working environment.