Whether you’re working on a job site or just puttering around your own property, many people have access to heavy machinery. While these machines can make getting work done a whole lot easier, if they’re not used correctly, they can also cause a whole lot of damage and destruction, both to your surroundings or to those working in the area. So to help ensure that you’re using the right equipment the right way, here are three safety tips for operating heavy machinery.

Do An Inspection Beforehand

Before you even start using any type of heavy machinery, you must first ensure that that machinery is safe and ready to use. To best check everything out, ConstructionEquipment.com recommends that you do an on-the-ground inspection before you even touch the machine. This inspection should include checking things like hoses, the undercarriage, oil, any points of stress, and just the general state of the machine. If anything looks amiss, make sure you either report it to the right people or get it taken care of on your own before you mount the machine and use it to get any work done. This will help keep you and everyone around you safe while this machine is in use.

Properly Mount and Dismount

Once you’re ready to start using the machine, it’s crucial that you use the proper technique for mounting and dismounting the equipment. According to Art Maat, a contributor to Safeopedia.com, countless machine operators have been killed by carelessly mounting or dismounting their machines. The right way to do this is to use the three-point rule. This means that you should always maintain three points of contact with the machine when mounting or dismounting it. For example, always have either both hands and a foot or two feet and a hand on the machine when getting on or off. Jumping off or on is never a good idea, for your own safety.

Use A Trained Spotter

When you’re operating the machine, you may have blind spots where you’re unable to see exactly what’s in that area. To ensure you’re being as safe as you can with these blind spots, Travelers.com recommends that you always use a trained spotter. This spotter should use hand signals to warn you if you’re too close to something or need to move in a different direction. Make sure the spotter is wearing clothes that make him or her easily visible to you and that you always pay attention to and trust the direction you’re given.

To help you keep yourself and others safe, consider using the tips mentioned above the next time you’ll be operating a piece of heavy machinery.

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