Caught-in and struck-by hazards are among the top four leading causes of fatalities in construction. One of the most deadly work practices is being within the swing radius of heavy equipment. The swing radius is the entire circle from a given point that parts of the equipment may move within. Generally, when we think of swing radius we picture the superstructure of a crane but the movement of any boom, bucket, or cab is also included. Basic safety rules must be followed when working within the equipment’s danger zone:
Always be aware of your surroundings when working around heavy equipment. Do not become distracted; avoid talking on your cell phone unless it’s work related.
Wearing high-visibility clothing is only a part of protecting yourself from danger. Never place yourself between a piece of heavy equipment and an immovable object; you may not be able to move in time to avoid a crushing injury or worse.
Never approach heavy equipment unless you know that the operator saw you and you and the operator make eye contact. Establish communication methods before starting work; hand signals, radios or other agreed up means of communication must be maintained between the operator and the signal-person.
Keep unauthorized people out of the work area. Barricades, fencing, cones, tape or other highly visible devices should be used to mark off the work area.
· 75% of construction’s caught-in or struck by injuries involve heavy equipment.
· Many newer machines include design changes for better visibility, including rear-facing cameras, placards on the rear counterweights and blinking lights and audible sounds when the equipment is moving or rotating.