Operating Heavy Equipment More Efficiently And More Safely

Operating Heavy Equipment More Efficiently And More Safely
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Every business has its challenges, whether it’s staying competitive or surviving the recession. Companies that involve the use of heavy equipment have two key areas to think about: efficiency and safety. If it’s used inefficiently it can malfunction and break down, reducing both productivity and profits. If it’s not used safely, the health of both employees and the general public can be put at risk. This can end up involving accidents, injuries, sick leave or legal compensation claims.

If these issues are relevant to you and your business, help is fortunately at hand. This article will provide you with some key guidelines to ensure your equipment is used both efficiently and safely.

Buy Quality Equipment

Before you purchase, do some online research to check that the specifications will match your needs. This will ensure it’s fit for purpose and powerful enough to do the job. You’ll also need to think about who will be operating it once it’s been bought. You may need to be wary of vendors who only sell higher-end models. As with most products, mid-range priced items are often a better choice than cutting costs and getting the cheapest one on the market. 

Specialist websites can be a great place to start, and they often provide lots of helpful free information. If you are looking for heavy equipment tracks for sale it’s often possible to read about the warranties, shipping arrangements, and different payment options online. It’s also worth looking for live chat facilities and 100% payment protection, or the ability to order online.

Provide Full Training

Make sure all your employees are fully instructed before they operate the machinery. If you hire someone, you should ideally give them time for training before putting them to work on the job site. Sometimes there are equipment feature upgrades or changes to the actual working process. In both scenarios, your staff needs to be made fully conversant beforehand.

Don’t be afraid to include refresher courses in your work program either, as this can help those who don’t use the machinery very often. It can also be a good way of discovering whether people have got into any bad habits when using it.

Draw Up A Safety Policy

Educating your employees about what is expected from them will help ensure the company standards are met at all times. Make sure the policy is enforced by you to create a safe working environment for everyone. Employees will feel more valued if safety concerns are regularly addressed. The same thing applies if they can voice any issues or worries with you as their boss, without fear of repercussions.

As regards the practical side of the policy, there should be measures to ensure each piece of machinery has been carefully checked over by qualified personnel before use. It should be forbidden for staff to drink alcohol if they are driving machines around.  Safety equipment should be worn whenever required, e.g. helmets, protective boots or safety vests, gloves, goggles, or glasses.

There Should Be An Emergency Procedure

This should be documented for every operator and then be tested by them in the presence of their supervisor. In the case of an emergency involving heavy equipment, there should always be at least one person present who is trained and who knows what actions to take. This can help avoid or reduce any possible injuries or damage.

Whether people are working in a warehouse or on a construction site, there should be trained first-aiders present. They can take care of any injuries while the ambulance is on its way. If a person has an injury that involves bleeding from cutting or accidental stabbing with nails etc., it’s crucial that there is something immediately available to stop the blood flow. This could involve applying pressure onto the wound until help arrives. The first-aider may also need to know how to shut down the machine urgently.

First Aid Kits

A first-aid kit should always be kept close by. It could contain such things as bandages, first-aid tape, and disinfectant. It’s also important to be prepared for such things as fire burns or accidents with chemicals.

 

Operating Heavy Equipment More Efficiently And More Safely

 

Maintain Your Equipment

There may be regular maintenance to perform at the workplace and annual servicing required from an external company. If there is less chance of equipment malfunctions or failures, there will also be less chance of it causing injury or death.

Equipment downtime means a loss of production time while it’s being repaired. This means lost profits as well as lower productivity levels overall. It’s therefore a false economy to cut back on maintenance.

Conduct Regular Audits

This can help ensure your machinery is safe for everyone involved. If an incident occurs, you will want to know you followed all the procedures correctly beforehand. If the incident was preventable you may be held legally accountable. You should ask your employees to fill out a safety checklist each time they get in a machine or vehicle.

Check the workplace for potential safety hazards such as chemical spills or slippery surfaces. If one particular task is especially dangerous, put additional supervision measures in place.

General Considerations

Workers should be trained to identify potential issues such as overhanging power lines or nearby pedestrians or vehicles. There may be distractions that could be dangerous or heavy fog or rain that is obscuring visibility. All staff should be fully trained in how to use proper lifting techniques. They should be familiar with such things as manhandling skills and maintaining the correct posture.

Staff should also have set working hours that include regular breaks. If people work long hours or can’t stop for a coffee their concentration levels could be compromised, resulting in an accident.

We have now seen the many ways that heavy equipment can be stewarded better. With the right resources and the correct training and procedures in place, the workplace can become a safer and more efficient place. In turn, the staff will enjoy good levels of morale as they help the company to prosper.

 

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