Friday, July 13, 2012

Heavy Equipment - Proximity Hazards

Included in any risk assessment on large construction projects is the hazard of workers and equipment working in proximity to each other, especially in congested areas. Controls include elimination of proximity hazards whenever possible and when equipment absolutely has to work in the same area as people or other equipment, then administrative policies must address the issues, as follows:

Before entering within a congested area:

  1. Secure the area. No unauthorized person permitted inside the barricades. Post a sentry and ensure he knows his job.
  2. Driving on roads:  Stay on your side of the road and follow the rules of the road. Stop at intersections. Drive at a safe speed.  Do not take unnecessary risks.
  3. Know where personnel and equipment are and know what they are doing and going to do.  The key to this is to get each other’s attention and get acknowledgement before one or the other suddenly does something unexpected.
  4. Ensure adequate direct supervision to ensure that hazards are controlled. The function of supervisors is to plan, lead, control and organize the work being performed.  They are expected to assess competency, designate who is authorized to operate equipment and communicate with workers re hazards.
  5. Do not exceed the capacity of the equipment. Follow manufacturers written instructions.
  6. Only competent and qualified operators are permitted to operate equipment and work on site.
  7. FLRAs (Field Level Risk Assessments) are to be filled out and signed by the whole crew at the start of each shift and reviewed whenever site conditions change. 
  8. Ensure adequate inspection and maintenance of the equipment.  Operators are required to fill out a log book at the start of each shift. Safety Personnel are required to regularly check log books and maintenance records.
  9. Report unsafe acts or conditions, near misses, incidents and injuries to your supervisor immediately.
  10. Wear seatbelts and follow site Safety Rules.
  11. If you have questions, comments, suggestions, near misses or incidents, report them to your supervisor immediately.


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