Using a skid-steer can speed up the completion of a variety of jobs, such as moving large items on construction sites. While this vehicle offers many benefits to workers in a variety of professions, there are also safety risks to be aware of.
The most common safety concerns associated with skid-steer use include entrapment, runovers and tipping.
For example, a runover could occur when the operator of a skid-steer loses sight of other workers in close proximity to the vehicle.
Fortunately, when you receive proper training and follow a few important skid-steer safety tips, you reduce the likelihood of causing an accident. Here are five critical tips to keep in mind at all times:
- Inspect the skid-steer before use: When doing so, pay close attention to any damage or defects that could cause an accident. If you find something wrong, make note of it and report the problem to your supervisor. And of course, don't use the skid-steer until the problem is corrected.
- Focus on the basics: There are many basic steps that every skid-steer operator should follow, including wearing a seat belt, keeping all protective structures in place and using the three point method for mounting and dismounting.
- Don't use a skid-steer to transport people: There's never a time when it's acceptable to use a skid-steer to transport a co-worker. Even if this sounds harmless (and maybe fun), it's a dangerous mistake that could cause serious injury or even death.
- Don't leave the engine running: If you need to leave the skid-steer for any reason, such as to check on a load that you need to pick up, lower the arms and stop the engine before doing so.
- Know what's around you: Just the same as motor vehicles, skid-steers have blind spots. Through the use of back-up cameras and mirrors, you can eliminate these blind spots to ensure that you always have a clear field of vision.
Even if you have many years of experience operating a skid-steer, you could still make a mistake that causes an accident. Just the same, someone else could do something that puts you in a dangerous spot.
If you're injured in a workplace accident, such as a skid-steer rollover, report the accident to your employer and follow the treatment advice of your medical team. Once your health is stable, you can consider if you're able to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits.