Contractor Liability: Keeping Safe on the Job Site

Any contractor will tell you that no matter how many years experience a person may have in construction, accidents do happen. Most accidents are related to machine operation and involve workers, spotters and even passers by. Tragically, due to role that physics plays when it comes to heavy machinery, many of these accidents end up being fatal. However, according to OSHA and MSHA Fatality Alerts & Bulletins, most of these accidents can be prevented.

The fact that a machine operator has years of experience does not mean that they can be lax on operator training. Every operator is required to have verifiable training on each of the machines that they will be using. Many equipment dealers offer training as part of their customer service so there is no reason to skimp on training. Along with this training there are a few things to remember when on the job site that can help prevent accidents from occurring.

1.Getting on and off Equipment- As the number one cause of injury, it is important to have clean shoes and proper grip gloves to avoid slipping when getting on and off equipment. Use handholds and steps and make sure they are properly accessible for all workers.

2.Loading and Unloading Equipment- Roll overs can happen even on level ground so make sure that you are centered on the ramps, you stay straight, and have a spotter to guide you. Once the machine is safely loaded make sure it is properly secured.

3.Buried and Overhead Obstructions- Make sure that you are aware of all possible obstructions from overhangs to buried pipelines or electrical lines.

4.Swing Radius- between counterweights on the back of the equipment and the tools on the front, swing radius accidents are common, making it important to rope off the swing area and use a spotter to ensure all people are clear.

5.Machine Instability and Upset- Machinery can become unstable and start to tip over, and lose the load. Because of this you want to make sure that the area around the machine is clear of all people, never lift loads over people, and make sure that the operator is using the safety restraints correctly.

6.Reverse- While machines have backup alarms, they do not compare with the operator actually making sure the area is clear. Using spotter, wide-angle mirrors and even rear mounted cameras can drastically improve safety when reversing.

7.Crowds- Many passers by are curious and tend to crowd the worksite. Make sure to have the area roped off, and spotters keeping onlookers at safe distances.

Most equipment made today comes with a variety of safety features but nothing beats staying informed and aware when it comes to worksite safety.

At Metro Boston Insurance Agency, we understand that safety is the biggest priority on the worksite. Call us today for information on our Contractors Insurance Services. 617.884.5480.
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