Working with heavy equipment is a skill. While there are many jobs in this profession, there is a lot of responsibility attached to handling equipment of this nature. Knowing the training protocols helps keep the operator and people around them safe. In fact, this is one of the most important parts of the job. According to OSHA, in the construction industry.

1 out of 10 workers is injured on an annual basis.  

What occurs during heavy equipment training?
Heavy equipment training should cover multiple topics that include safety, machinery, and how-to simulations. There should be specific training courses on each piece of heavy machinery to ensure employees can confidently move forward.

Who should go through heavy equipment training?
Everyone slated to operate heavy equipment should go through this training. OSHA regulations specify individuals closely associated with and operating heavy equipment must take extensive training and become certified in the area. Employers are usually tasked with the responsibility of scheduling and providing this training for their employees. Whether the training is off-site or done at the facility, heavy equipment training is a priority.

Here are some important training protocols to follow:

  • Be alert
    Many accidents occur because the workers aren’t aware of their surroundings. It’s important to know where everyone is to avoid mistakes. It’s also a good idea to have pre-work meetings highlighting where underground utilities or wires are to avoid these areas or have a workaround so no one gets hurt. Workers operating heavy equipment must be observant and able to react at a moment’s notice.
  • Equipment training
    Before handling any equipment, going through an extensive training schedule is key. Even when the worker has prior knowledge, equipment changes every day. The last thing you would want happening is a mistake happening because a knob on a newer model did something different from the last and someone got hurt. While the training should cover how to properly operate the machinery, it should also cover simple precautionary steps and common-sense rules.
  • Inspections
    Each piece of equipment should be inspected on a daily basis and prior to each use. One of the easiest ways to put workers in danger is by not knowing if there are problems with the equipment due to non-inspection. There should be a supervisor conducting daily checks, and the worker should inspect the equipment before they start working. An inspection isn’t just a quick look to determine if everything is okay. This involves checking the lights, tires, extensions, and every other element of the equipment needed to safely perform a job. By doing so, the equipment can be removed if there are any risks.
  • Intention
    Heavy equipment should only be used by individuals certified to use it. Additionally, heavy equipment should only be used for what it was intended to do. Manufacturers have limitations and recommended uses for an additional layer of safety. Using heavy equipment for any other reason beyond the outlined use can be hazardous to an employee and the surrounding workers.

Why is this type of training so important?
Consider this – someone is operating heavy equipment, and something goes wrong. With training, the employee can begin panicking, even when they know what to do. That means someone who is not trained in the machinery may cause even more damage because not only are they in panic mode, but they do not know how to diffuse a potentially harmful situation.

Training helps workers understand how to react in certain situations and keep themselves and those around them safe. It also keeps the company in compliance and demonstrates to workers that the company cares about their well-being.

Using a training systems provider can help alleviate wondering about what training protocols they should be covering. A heavy equipment trainer has all the latest information on equipment and changes in the industry. This simple step can help companies save time, money, and avoid injuries.