Working with larger machines can be dangerous without proper training. Even with that training, with every job, precautions have to be taken for the protection of the workers, pedestrians, and the machines. Careful attention is given to every task from taking into account additional risks, keeping the ground stable as the soil shifts, making sure the weight doesn’t shift in the truck, and more. Whether it’s digging out a trench, a foundation, utilities, drainage, and more, the proper safety measures are in place. Here’s how we stay on top of safety measures at each and every job.
● Trenching Safety: You will do a lot of trenching work when a company is working on a utility project, however, it can be used on some road building work, and foundation construction. Operators will use one of three primary protective systems. It’s either sloping, shoring, or shielding that helps prevent collapse or injury while digging. The reason why there are three different systems comes down to the climate, soil type, how far they need to dig down, and more. They also need to be careful with how close they get to the trench so the machine doesn’t tip. The rule is to stay at least two feet from the trench.
● Moving Around the Job Site: One of the biggest risks (surprisingly) is moving around the job site. When we move the vehicles, buckets and plows are raised enough so it doesn’t scrape on the ground, but still low so the center of gravity isn’t affected. They also move slowly throughout the site. It’s important to stay alert and follow proper pedestrian/vehicle rules, especially with various companies involved with the project.
● Stay Level: Keeping the machines level is important, but there are some projects that are on an incline or slope. It’s more challenging for the operator, but can be done with caution. Most times you’ll see the operator creating a little shelf for the vehicle or leveling out a spot for the machine to safely sit. They need to pay attention to where they swing the bucket as they load and unload as well at the weight.
● Keeping Everything Clean: The machines are regularly cleaned, especially the tread and the undercarriages. When dirt builds up, it affects how much the machine can bite into the ground and anchor itself. Buildup could also damage the machine which will cause premature failure, expensive replacements, delayed projects.