Performing safety precautions on construction sites is not only common sense for most project managers. It’s also a legal requirement in most countries for the health and safety of all persons working on a construction site. Countries, such as Australia, stipulate strict regulations for the proper use of heavy machinery on all project sites.
Operating heavy machinery such as lifting equipment needs to be done in a responsible and safe manner. When working with lifting equipment Melbourne construction site managers should ensure that their heavy machinery operators follow all safety procedures.
But what are some of the ways lifting equipment can be used safely on your construction sites? Read on to find out six ways of using lifting equipment so you can rest assured your team and heavy equipment are safe on site.
1. Check Lifting Equipment Before Using It
Before any lifting and hoisting task is performed on a construction site, all equipment must be checked over. This includes any rigging tools such as winches, ropes, slings and other lifting equipment.
This kind of inspection will ensure that there’s no wear and tear of the equipment being used and that everything is in good working order. The inspection will also determine that the equipment is set up properly, so the lifting task is performed safely.
2. Ensure Construction Workers Work Responsibly
While construction workers should know how to behave responsibly around lifting equipment, it’s essential they’re fully aware of the risks associated with this type of work. At no time should a worker be standing under a load being lifted. They should also stand well away during lifting operations to avoid being struck by swinging loads.
Despite performing checks before using lifting equipment there’s always the danger of something going wrong during operation. A piece of equipment could malfunction or a load is not properly attached. These dangers are a real risk for every construction worker working on site and they must follow all safety precautions.
3. Use Fully Trained Operators
Fully trained operators who are kept up to date with the latest technology in using lifting equipment should be used at all times on your construction site. This minimises accidents from happening. A fully trained operator will know how to perform lifting jobs in a safe and effective manner.
Make sure your operators are kept fully informed of all the latest development in lifting equipment. Send them for regular training workshops so they have no doubts on how to operate new equipment. These workshops will also remind them of risky behaviours such as moving and positioning loads from the truck bed.
4. Safe Lifting Loads
Always ensure that lifting loads don’t exceed the Working Load Limit (WLL). This is the maximum safe force calculated for the specific lifting equipment you’re using. Manufacturers of lifting equipment will clearly state the WLL of your lifting equipment and this must be adhered to at all times.
The stability of the load being lifted is also essential. This means it needs to be attached securely, in the correct manner, to the lifting equipment before being hoisted and moved. Severe and even fatal accidents can be avoided if both the WLL and secure attachment of loads are properly managed.
5. Prepare for the Lifting Task
Preparation is key for the safe use of lifting equipment. Both the operator and workers involved should plan the task before performing it. This includes knowing who is doing what, where they’re going with the load and clearing the site of any obstacles.
Workers need to be well-prepared on how to handle the load effectively and safely while all accessories such as chains and slings should be fully assessed before being used for the task. Planning and preparing for the lifting task minimises any risks associated with lifting loads, ensuring the health and safety of your construction team.
6. Perform Regular Maintenance
All heavy machinery should be regularly maintained and that includes your lifting equipment. While pre-operation checks ensure the lifting equipment is safe for daily use, regular maintenance also means the equipment won’t delay any projects.
A certified technician should perform all maintenance and repairs on lifting equipment to keep it within the required safety standards set by local government boards. This technician will follow standard procedures guided by safety criteria for lifting equipment.
Every construction or project site manager is responsible for the health and safety of their workers. This includes ensuring all lifting equipment is registered, employees using such equipment are properly trained and regular inspections are performed. Maintenance teams need to be set up and well-trained in the care of lifting equipment.
Lifting equipment is just one of the many items used on construction sites to ensure a project is completed on time and safely. However, if the equipment is faulty or used incorrectly, accidents will happen.
Make sure your construction site is safe at all times by keeping a check on all lifting equipment used. This also means employing well-trained construction workers and operators who know how to perform lifting jobs safely and responsibly at all times.
Remember, safety first!