The Dangers of Working Around Heavy Equipment and How to Stay Safe

If employees don’t handle heavy equipment correctly, there’s a chance they might get injured and sometimes even suffer fatal injuries.

Heavy equipment is a staple for many businesses, especially those in the construction and mining industry. Unfortunately, working with heavy equipment comes with its fair share of risks. If employees don’t handle the equipment correctly, there’s a chance they might get injured and sometimes even suffer fatal injuries.

st. louis worker operating heavy equipment

These safety hazards might not be apparent for employers and employees overseeing work operations. Let’s consider the many dangers of working with or close to heavy equipment. We’ll also look at how both employees and employers can sidestep these safety risks.

Examples of Hazardous Equipment in Workplaces

Equipment, if not handled properly, is an accident waiting to happen. Here are a few examples of dangerous equipment in the workplace. 

  • Bulldozers: These are huge machines mostly used in construction to move soil, gravel, and other materials on the ground.
  • Cranes: These towering machines pick up heavy objects and move them to another location. They’re responsible for many injuries on construction and mining sites.
  • Excavators: Excavators can be a serious safety hazard when they malfunction or when employers don’t adequately train operators using the excavator.

 Common Dangers of Working Around Heavy Equipment

Heavy machines present a severe safety risk for anyone working near them. Some dangers of working around heavy equipment include:

Getting Run Over

There’s a chance that employees and bystanders could get run over by heavy equipment. As such, employees should be extra careful while working around large vehicles like dozers, graders, and dump trucks. Operators may not have the best visibility while operating these behemoth vehicles. This increases the chances of run-over accidents.

Transportation Accidents

Most heavy machines move heavy loads from one location to another. Those responsible for moving these loads should ensure that they properly secure the load and that the load is perfectly balanced. If not, there’s a chance the load will come crashing down, sometimes on employees.

Supervisors should also be keen on transport logistics to avoid collisions between vehicles. 

What’s more, they should avoid overworking operators to the point of fatigue. Fatigued workers are more likely to get involved in accidents.

 How to Stay Safe Around Heavy Machines

To stay safe when around heavy equipment, employers must:

  • Train employees on the proper way to use the equipment
  • Have guards and clear signs for easier movement of these heavy machines
  • Employing spotters to help operators drive safely
  • Ensuring everybody onsite wears high visibility clothing 

St. Louis Work Injury Lawyers

As much as we need heavy equipment, it is often a considerable safety risk. However, the information above should help keep you safe around heavy equipment.

If you still get injured while working near heavy equipment, you may be eligible for workers’ comp benefits. These benefits can help cover your medical bills, lost wages, and more.

To ensure your legal rights are protected after a work injury, call the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann and benefit from our St. Louis work injury lawyer’s 25+ years of experience. We can evaluate your case for free and help you determine what you are entitled to after a work injury.

Speak With a Workers Comp Attorney

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Updated: December 20, 2021