Photo source: www.masterbuilder.co.in
There are already a number of hazards on construction sites without adding to the list unnecessarily by neglecting vehicle safety and failing to maintain vehicles and equipment – this in itself presents a hazard to worker safety.
Construction accidents can occur because of defective commercial vehicles or equipment used by construction workers to undertake high-risk tasks.
It is the law that construction employers ensure work equipment is maintained and kept in a satisfactory state. Equipment should be in efficient working order and regularly maintained or repaired.
An important part of construction safety is that construction equipment and vehicles are maintained so that they are mechanically in good condition.
Planned maintenance is important and should be thorough, regular and frequent enough to meet the manufacturer’s guidelines and common sense.
Employers should remember that they are legally bound to make sure that work equipment, including construction vehicles, are in good working order.
It is also vital that vehicles are well maintained and mechanically sound. Employers need to consider how they plan on ensuring that vehicles are well kept, maintained and repaired. This should include determining when and how often inspections will occur, including basic checks by drivers before using the vehicles as well as regular maintenance inspections carried out regularly every so often or after a certain mileage. Drivers should be taught to check that the tyres are properly inflated and conduct a quick basiccheck before using the vehicle – providing drivers with a checklist is a good idea and will help them remember everything they need to check each day and sign off before beginning work.
Another aspect to consider is preventive maintenance. Preventative maintenance is also needed to help avoid failures during use. This should be thorough, regular and frequent enough to meet the manufacturer’s guidelines and common sense.
The parts of the vehicle which need to be paid special attention include the brake system steering system, the tyres, mirrors, windscreen wipers and washers, warning devices specific safety systems, racking etc.
Only qualified and skilled workers should be allowed to operate construction vehicles and equipment. Also vehicles and equipment shouldn’t be left with the engine on when unattended.
The vehicle should have suitable and effective brakes and the windows, mirrors and CCTV should provide good all round visibility.
Vehicles need to have suitable warning devices (for example horns, rotating beacons, reversing alarms) and these should always be working because they are an important aspect of safety.
The vehicle should be clearly visible, that includes painting and markings on the vehicle which make it stand out.
Seats and seat belts should be fully operational, safe and comfortable and the dangerous parts should have guards fitted.
Also construction sites have unstable, sometimes rocky terrain. It is important that driver protection is present to prevent injury should the vehicle tip over and to prevent the driver being hit by falling objects etc.
Vehicles should always be utilised and maintained according to the manufacturers’ requirements because vehicles and equipment are an important part of construction site safety.