Heavy equipment, like a material lift, is only as safe as the operators using it. Accidents with material lifts can be extremely dangerous; in certain circumstances, they can even be fatal. Fortunately, good safety practices and continued maintenance can often prevent accidents from occurring.
While material lifts are often not the most-used piece of equipment on a job site, that doesn’t mean that their maintenance should fall off the list. In fact, many common issues with material lifts often go unnoticed for far longer than they should due to their usage patterns. What’s more, neglecting to follow proper usage guidelines can result in injury. Here are a few safety tips for material lift use in order to protect your equipment and stay safe.
Choose The Right Equipment
Make sure you choose the right lift for the available operators, ground conditions, and power source for a given project. Trying to handle any job with ill-fitted equipment is a recipe for a disaster.
Inspect Lift Parts Before Use and As Needed
It’s good practice to inspect equipment for any obvious issues before putting it to work. All controls should be working correctly, all insulation should be undamaged, and the guardrails should be sturdy. If unusual noises are heard while operating any machine tool, this may be a sign that you need to have it inspected or repaired. If you’re ever in doubt, delay the start of work to ensure the equipment is approved for use.
Check the Work Site for Hazards
Uneven surfaces can pose a risk to the safe operation of a material lift, as can debris and other obstacles. It’s important to remove obstructions before working in the area. Other workers or pedestrians near the lift may also be a concern depending on the work site. For outdoor operations, it’s best for all workers to keep an eye on the weather conditions. Wind and rain can make surfaces slick and difficult to walk on, especially at height.
Always Follow Posted Safety Instructions
Always make sure that all employees are not only familiar with the equipment but also with the safety standards that come along with operating it. In addition to the standard instructions and warnings present on the equipment itself, consider posting duplicate or additional material around the work site as appropriate. Don’t neglect ongoing training or refreshers to ensure all workers have the knowledge they need to stay protected.
It’s much better to prevent an accident than to deal with the consequences of one. Putting regular safety measures into practice will help ensure that you and your employees remain as safe as possible on the work site. Of course, you’ll also need to keep your material lifts in excellent working order. For more information on how we can repair your essential job site equipment, please contact us today.