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As a heavy equipment operator, you understand how important it is to follow safety procedures at all times. However, even the most experienced and knowledgeable operators could be injured in an accident.

There are many safety tips you can follow to prevent trouble, with these seven among the most important:

  • Understand the operator’s manual: Knowing the manufacturer’s specifications and recommendations can help you avoid a mistake that results in an accident that causes injury or death.
  • Never leave the vehicle when the engine is on: If you need to leave the vehicle for any reason, turn the engine off before dismounting. Not only does this protect you, but it ensures that no one else jumps into the operator’s seat.
  • Don’t operate controls from outside the compartment: You should only operate a vehicle when you’re in the operator’s seat with full access to all the controls.
  • Watch for other vehicles and workers: You may be using a skid-steer or other machine in close proximity to other work vehicles and coworkers. If possible, alert everyone before using the vehicle, ensuring that they keep their distance.
  • Don’t disable any safety features: Machines come with a variety of safety features, all of which are designed to prevent accidents and keep you safe in the event of a crash or rollover.
  • Don’t permit anyone to ride with you: Don’t give a coworker a ride or any reason, such as transportation to and from the worksite. This includes rides in the compartment or on an attachment.
  • Inspect your machine before and after use: Before using heavy equipment, inspect it for defects and damage. After you’re done for the day, once again inspect the vehicle to ensure that it’s safe for the next person to use.

When you follow these seven safety tips on the job, you’ll feel better about your ability to avoid trouble.

If you’re injured in an accident, stop what you’re doing and report the incident to your employer. Also, call 911 for help, as you want to receive immediate treatment for all your injuries.

As you recover and think about the future, you may realize that you won’t be able to immediately return to work (if at all). In this case, filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits is a must.

For more information on all things associated with the workers’ compensation system, review our website and past blog posts.