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We hear it from the time we are small: warnings about the possibility of falling when we are in a hurry. When the location is a large piece of heavy equipment, rushing to get on or off always has the potential for an accident. Adding wintry conditions and bulky clothing increases the possibility into a probability.
The Main Cause of Falls From Heavy Equipment
That isn’t a funny comment, that’s the truth. If you think that losing your balance or slipping will not result in going down, you are not thinking clearly. Unless you are working on the space station in zero gravity, you have to keep your mind on what you are doing when climbing up or down a giant machine because the ground is far enough away to hurt when you hit. Add the torque of catching your clothing on a snag or banging into metal while you fall and the results are painful. They also are job- or life-threatening.
Gravity Rules You Can’t Ignore
When you get your heavy equipment operator training at a reputable school like ATS, one of the big themes you hear repeated is safety. The rules regarding heavy equipment safety have been developed through sad experience. See if you can imagine what happens if one of these rules is ignored:
- 3 points of contact at all times when getting on or off
- pre-trip inspection for loose bolts or icy surfaces
- use the handrails and steps on the equipment; never jump off
- face the equipment when getting on or off
- never get on or off a moving piece of equipment
- keep cabs clean and uncluttered
- wear non-slip boots
Each one of these rules has a story behind it, told by countless operators who learned the hard way that gravity always wins.