Two safety precautions operators of heavy construction equipment should take during demolition projects

Posted on: 26 January 2018

In order to prevent accidents from occurring during the course of a demolition project, operators of heavy construction equipment must take certain safety precautions. An experienced and professional demolition company, like Roach Demolition & Excavations, will always train their employees to take the proper steps and precautions. Read on to find out what these precautions are.

Inspect the equipment before using it

Anyone who has been tasked with using a specific piece of heavy construction equipment during a demolition project should thoroughly inspect it before they switch it on.

The reason for this is as follows; thoroughly examining the equipment provides the operator with the chance to identify and repair potentially-hazardous faults, long before these faults put their own safety, or the safety of those around them, at risk.

If an operator does not inspect their equipment prior to using it, there is a chance that they could end up accidentally hurting nearby workers.

For example, if a hydraulic excavator that they will be using to tear down a building develops a leak in one of its fluid lines which causes its hydraulic fluid levels to drop dangerously low, and the operator fails to notice this before switching on the machine, there could be serious consequences. If this leak causes the excavator's elevated, hydraulically-powered arm to fall abruptly to the ground during the demolition process, this arm could strike workers standing underneath it. Due to the weight of this part of the equipment, the impact of it falling on them could leave them with fatal injuries.

As such, it is vital for operators to thoroughly inspect their equipment before using it.

Wear the appropriate safety gear when operating the equipment

The process of tearing down a building usually results in enormous amounts of dust becoming airborne. This dust can often contain toxic substances (like silica, for example), which can irritate people's eyes and damage their lungs.

It is extremely important for operators of heavy construction equipment to wear safety gear (such as safety goggles and respirator masks), to minimise the amount of dust that they inhale or that enters their eyes.

Wearing these items serves two purposes. Firstly, it will prevent the equipment operator from sustaining eye or lung injuries as a result of being involved in the demolition process.

Secondly, it will drastically reduce the chances of the dust affecting their ability to safely operate the equipment. For example, wearing a respirator mask can prevent them from inhaling dust and subsequently having a coughing fit that impedes their ability to control the machinery they are using.

Likewise, wearing safety goggles can stop any airborne dust from impairing their vision to the point where they cannot see the vehicle control panel or the direction in which they are driving the equipment.