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How to safely work with heavy machinery

Though machinery in the workplace can be a great benefit if used correctly and safely, these machines can also cause great harm if you don’t know how to use them properly. Heavy does not always refer to weight. This equipment can be small or lightweight but is often used on large construction projects.

When operating heavy equipment and machinery on a site, workers’ tasks are inherently high risk. Fortunately for workers and others involved, there are safety measures you can take to reduce work site injury.

Increased communication

Effective communication is an important part of the ongoing safety of operations. Blind spots are common while operating heavy machinery. Having a spotter to signal operators can help provide safety guidance when vision is limited. Spotters should wear high-visibility clothing so they are visible always. A two-way radio can also be a useful method of communication on a site with heavy machinery.


It is important to invest in training for your workers. Ensuring that your staff is well-trained on the equipment they are using can prevent accidents. Each machine has its own quirks and features that you must understand before putting your hands on the controls.

Managers and owners should provide retraining and refresher courses as needed. If a worker is operating equipment unsafely or in an unintended manner, they may need to reboot their skills. Only workers who are properly trained should operate the equipment.

Safety should be a leadership priority

If management is evaluating workers solely on production output and not including safety, the safety of the work site will be compromised. The top level of the organization must prioritize safety to set the tone and values in their environment.

With a strong commitment to safety, companies and workers can help prevent construction site accidents.

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