We've all heard about the dangers of construction and heavy equipment more times than we care to count. The problem with that is after hearing it over and over again, a lot of folks in the industry tuck it away, only to be remembered when an accident happens. Which is unfortunate in hindsight.
We know danger and construction equipment are a forever destined pair, but we don't want to see anyone injured. We've got 7.8 million construction workers in the United States doing work that most people can't fathom, nor begin to handle. It's tough stuff, but here are some common heavy equipment dangers that can definitely be avoided.
Heavy Equipment Transport
Most heavy equipment isn't easy to transport. When a loader gets from site to site, it can't exactly drive there, so it needs to be transported by oversized trailer. Simple math states that when something that's several tons is being hauled by something that's several tons, that's a lot of weight in motion. Between site to site transport and loading/unloading heavy construction vehicles, more injuries happen from carelessness here. More machines have ended up flipped over from this than you think. The job can wait a few extra minutes while safely unloading a machine from a trailer.
Ah, a construction site's worst estimation. After years of getting comfortable with construction and dealing with dangerous machinery, the safety lessons from when you were "the new guy" tend to hibernate. When eyeing a project that involves a heavy vehicle, remember it's not a Jeep. Gravity is less kind to heavier things. Watching for unsafe slopes, treacherous ledges, and questionable support measures will keep avoidable accidents at bay. If you're eyeing a situation and find it's "safe-ish", take a few moments and evaluate again.
Construction equipment can take a beating; it's built to weather intense conditions. This, however, does not mean they're invincible. Your personal vehicle needs an inspection annually, so equipment that takes leagues more physical abuse than your car should be inspected as often as needed per job (a lot more often than annually). Technical malfunctions aren't as common as irresponsible use but can be just as problematic.
You know the drill. Site safety is huge. You've got a job, equipment, and a crew to look out for. Safety and proper attention should be the foundation before you start laying any foundation.