A number of safety incidents occur each year which involve workers being crushed or run over by construction vehicles. There are a number of reasons why these incidents occur but it is important that principal contractors manage the risk these massive and potentially destructive machines present to worker safety.
These are the most commonly occurring construction vehicles which also commonly cause incidents on site:
Bulldozers are also called excavators and are equipped with a large blade in front that is sharp enough to cut through the earth and push things forward. If they can cut through thick rock imagine what they can do to human flesh?
Because these vehicles are used to break through rock, dirt and concrete and move the materials across the ground to another area they are extremely strong and deadly to a human. The front blade can also lift the materials up from the ground and deposit the items to another area. These vehicles can injure people by running them over, crushing them between the vehicle and a hard surface or severely injuring them with the large front blade.
Concrete Mixer and Dump Trucks
Trucks and vans are extremely useful for construction contractors and workers which is why they are so common in the construction industry. They provide an easy way to transport goods from the manufacturer to the site or around the site and to transport debris to dump sites. The flatbed portion of the truck can hold and transport a variety of items used on construction sites, including small machines, jackhammers, tools, wooden planks, bags of cement, drywall and flooring.
The high capacity and strong horsepower of trucks make it easier to haul these heavy items.Due to the fact that dump trucksload and unload several times a day onto the same area to create elevated surfaces known as stockpiles, there is the chance of them tipping over.When drivers load and unload their trucks on these elevated or uneven surfaces it is very dangerous as the vehicle can topple or roll over. The dump truck operating on the unstable ground created by a stockpile can cause fatal accidents.
The concrete mixer is another important vehicle used in construction but can also be a source of injury and even death to workers. It is equipped with a large cone-shaped structure with the cone points upward at a 45-degree angle at the back. The concrete and water are added to the inside of the cone and turns until the concrete is thoroughly mixed. Once sufficiently mixed the driver positions the truck at the desired location where concrete is needed and pours the mixture through an apparatus at the back of the vehicle. Most of the injuries related to concrete mixers occur at this point when the vehicle is reversing to get into position or pouring out its load.
The work done on a construction site results in a lot of debris. This debris has to be removed at the end of the project which makes dump trucks so necessary. The backhoe or bulldozer operator loads the dump truck with unwanted materials. When full, the dump truck driver takes the load to an approved location to unload the trash and debris. Most of the incidents that occur with dump trucks are as a result of workers being run over on site.
Follow these safety tips when working near a heavy vehicle or when operating one:
- Drive with extreme caution at all times on site but especially when carrying a load.
- Reduce speed in poor travelling conditions and on site adhere to speed limits.
- Beware of pedestrians because construction sites are busy places, remain in the correct zoned areas
- Abide by truck load limitations to avoid capsizing and ensure other workers who load the vehicle do the same.
- Maintain good visibility at all times and don’t proceed if this is not possible.
- Be trained on emergency procedures such as when equipment fails or bad weather conditions prevail.