Learning how to weld can lead you to a fulfilling hobby or long-term career, but…
There is such a huge focus on heavy equipment safety these days that you could be excused for thinking it was the number one priority. For government agencies like the Department of Labor, it is. For employers, safety is obviously an issue, however, it is not necessarily their number one priority. For employers, it is more of a holistic approach.
What employers are looking for is an operator who can get a job done quickly, accurately, and safely. In fact, safety and skills are linked – if you are not operating your equipment safely, then there is a good chance you’ll have an accident, and this will lead to down time, possibly an investigation, and the job not being completed on time. In today’s construction industry, not completing a contract on time can lead to penalties, which reduce the income a construction company receives. On the flip side, if a contract is completed ahead of time, there could be bonus payments available, and since money rules the business world, you know what an employer’s preference is going to be.
When training to become a heavy equipment operator, it is important to focus on all aspects of your training. Skills are obviously important, however, safety should not be ignored or underestimated. As a student, there is not one priority learning area – in short, all of your training should be your priority.
A well-trained heavy equipment operator who can work safely whilst getting the job done on or ahead of time will always find themselves with work. These operators gain reputations that make them highly employable and sought after. Operators who have a tendency to take short cuts, have accidents, and be generally unreliable will soon find themselves unemployable – the grape vine is very strong in the field of heavy equipment and your reputation, good or bad, will quickly filter through the system. Start off on the right foot by being a competent and safe operator.