There is an endless list of possible hazards that result from the
operation of heavy equipment. A few incident types, in particular,
cause many serious injuries and fatalities each year. Three types of
incidents that result in these serious injuries and fatalities are
struck-by incidents, caught-in or between incidents, and tip overs.
While these incident types deserve a lot of attention because of the
harm they can cause, there are also many other hazards relating to
heavy equipment operation that can result in frequent injury.
Four Other Hazards to Consider Relating to the Use of Heavy Equipment:
Slips, trips, and falls are some of the most common types of incidents
that result in injuries to workers. Operators of heavy equipment are
not exempt from these incidents occurring to them. Climbing into the
cab of equipment or walking on the slick surfaces of a machine are two
common occurrences that can result in a slip, trip, or fall injury for
Pinch points are located in many different places on a piece of heavy
equipment. Door jams or equipment hoods are two common pinch-point
locations where operators injure fingers.
Loose cargo can lead to injury due to an operator losing control of
their equipment. A loss of control results from an operator being
distracted from their work due to objects moving around in their cab.
Another way loose cargo can lead to an incident is when an object that
is not secured gets stuck in a control or under a pedal of the
Leaks on equipment can lead to multiple different types of injuries or
property loss. A leak in a pressurized line is especially hazardous.
Hydraulic lines that are leaking can inject fluid underneath the skin
of a worker. This kills tissue which often results in amputation of
the affected body part if not treated quickly. Leaking equipment can
also lead to a slip incident for those workers who happen to step on
Best Practices to Mitigate These Other Hazards
Always use three points of contact when climbing into the cab of heavy
Clear boots and steps of any mud to avoid slick conditions.
Watch hand placement and avoid pinch-point areas. Ensure equipment
guards are in place and functioning to avoid hands or body parts from
being caught-in or between them.
Maintain a clean cab. Ensure any items within the cab are tied down or
Always complete a pre-use inspection prior to using heavy equipment.
Tag out equipment that has leaks until it is properly repaired.
Never check for leaks on pressurized lines with your hands, even while
It is important to remember that there are many hazards present while
operating heavy equipment. While it is critical to eliminate the
chance for struck-by incidents, caught-in or between incidents, and
tip-overs occurring, it is equally important to protect yourself from
these other hazards are mentioned in this talk.
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