Look at every piece of equipment, including the tractor trailers beds delivering equipment, and work trucks with the Three Point Rule in mind:
Contact with the construction equipment or vehicle by either one foot and two hands or one hand and two feet.
The following are ways that we can better protect you from injury:
• During your next equipment inspection look closely at the grasping points and share with your foreman where non skid tape, steps, non-slip surfaces, and hand holds are necessary. This is especially true for large equipment such as LEE’s, hammers, and drill rigs. You may need to access the cab roof for inspection or maintenance needs and non-slip surfaces and solid hand holds are required. Do not forget fall protection – either a handrail system (LEE 3 has a nice one) or personal fall protection in the form of full body harness and retractable lanyard for each employee at height.
• Make sure to keep steps, contact surfaces and handholds in useable condition. Inspect frequently. Consider adding folding / portable steps or ladders for trailer access and egress.
• Remind your coworkers on the safe way of climbing in to a machine and safely dismounting.
• When using a new piece of machinery, become familiar with proper mounting and dismounting procedures. Consult the operator’s manual for the correct procedures.
• Exit and enter facing the equipment or vehicle. Handholds and footholds are on the equipment for a reason – use them. Wear boots with good support and slip resistance.
• Keep steps, ladders, steps, and standing surfaces free of snow, mud, oils, grease, and debris. Report damage immediately, and repair ASAP.
• Don’t use tires or wheel hubs as a step surface, and don’t use the doorframe or door edge as a handhold. Never mount or dismount moving equipment.
• Do not jump off equipment or vehicles. When a person jumps from a height of more than one foot, the force that goes through the body is about 14 times the person’s body weight. A 165-pound person who jumps out of construction equipment or any other high surface is exerting approximately 2,310 pounds of force on their body. This can cause injury to bones, tendons and cartilage. Because jumping down off large equipment is a common practice for construction workers, it’s no surprise that lower back, knee, ankle and neck injuries occur more frequently. If you’re doing this multiple times every workday, the damage to the body can be extensive.
• When dismounting and mounting, maintain three-point contact. This means having contact with the construction equipment by either one foot and two hands or one hand and two feet. The smaller the triangle you form with your body, the more stable you are.
• Always face the vehicle, both when mounting and dismounting. Look at the surface below before stepping and make sure it is even to prevent ankle and knee injuries.
• Do not mount or dismount with anything, including tools, in your hands. Not only does it throw the body off-balance, it also reduces your chance of recovering your balance if you do slip. Use a drop rope to raise and lower supplies, tools and equipment instead.
• Wear appropriate clothing. Loose or torn clothing can get caught on equipment when you are climbing down. Jewelry, including rings, can become snagged on a handhold during a mount / dismount of equipment or vehicle. Ensure the handholds have smooth surfaces. The full weight of your body pulling on a snagged ring & finger may cause the loss of skin or the finger itself
• Proper vehicle maintenance also contributes to the safe mounting and dismounting of equipment. Make sure running boards, treads, steps, footholds and platforms are kept clear. Hazards like ice, snow and grease could cause slips, trips and falls.
Regardless of the type of equipment you work with, mounting and dismounting safely should always be top of mind.
We have had a Safe 2016-keep up the safe work and thank you for making EVERYDAY a GEOSAFE DAY!