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Heavy machinery is a staple in the construction industry. From cranes to excavators, these machines are essential for building roads, bridges, and other large-scale projects. They’re also responsible for some of the most severe workplace injuries in recent years. That’s why you must take precautions before using heavy machinery, such as having your equipment inspected by a qualified mechanic and following recommended safety procedures when working with it yourself.
Inspect the Machine
You should always inspect your machines to ensure they’re in working order. This will help you identify any potential issues before they cause injury and can also prevent you from getting hurt if an issue needs to be addressed immediately. Check for loose parts, hydraulic leaks, and electrical problems. Look for signs of wear and tear on the machine: cracked or worn cords; wires exposed due to damage; frayed or torn harnesses; cracked or broken screens/terminals/plugs, etc. All could mean something isn’t up to par with safety standards and needs immediate attention.
Lubricate Any Dry Equipment
Once you start hearing your equipment begin to scrape against each other it is ready for a round of grease. In order to avoid injuries at work every piece of equipment should be working at its fullest potential. It would help if you use an electric grease gun for large machinery or klifts, cranes, and other pieces of heavy equipment. The size of the gun is dependent on the size of the machine you are lubricating. Be sure not to overfill any parts—this could cause damage or make things worse than they already were.
Check for Damage
If you’re checking a machine that has been dropped or otherwise damaged, scrutinizes it to ensure all parts are in place and there is no loose debris. Some small items may be hidden under the machine, so look underneath it. Check for any signs of leaking fluids and corrosion, which can cause severe damage over time.
If you find damaged parts, make a note of them and contact the manufacturer. Once you’ve finished checking the machine, turn it on and run through a test run to see if any issues arise.
• Remove debris. Before you begin working on your heavy machinery, remove all the debris accumulated in the area. This will protect you from getting cut or injured by anything left over from previous projects.
• Use a brush to remove debris. If there are still small pieces of metal on your equipment, use a brush to clean them off instead of trying to pick them up with your hands or tools like pliers and screwdrivers.
• Wear gloves and eye protection when cleaning off any remaining bits of metal or other objects that could become lodged into moving parts (like gears). Also, wear protective eyewear so you don’t risk being hit by flying particles while doing this task.
Clean and Replace Fluids
• Check oil levels, hydraulic fluid levels, water levels, coolant levels, brake fluid levels, and transmission fluid levels. Machines that aren’t appropriately cleaned can accumulate dust, dirt, and debris inside their engines or fuel systems which can be very dangerous if not properly maintained. If a machine has been sitting idle for a long time, it may also require an overhaul to ensure its safe to operate again.
Safety Is Your Priority
Safety is your priority when working with heavy machinery. It requires a lot of preparation, regular maintenance, common sense, and attention to detail. Safety also means following the rules set by your employer or manufacturer.
The most important thing you can do to ensure safety is never to work alone. Always have someone nearby who can help if something goes wrong. Ensure it’s someone who knows how to perform basic first aid in case something goes wrong. If possible, don’t work near or on the unstable ground where you might fall into danger should the machine move unexpectedly.
It’s essential to know how to prep heavy machinery so that you can operate it safely and avoid injuries. The five tips listed above are just some of how you can ensure your machine is ready for use. Remember, if something seems broken or has been dropped from a height, stop using it immediately.