The dangers associated with handling these earth-shattering machines cannot be understated. It is necessary, if not mandatory, that great caution be exercised while dealing with the excavator swing bearing machines. Many accidents, which sometimes are fatal, are caused mainly by the fact that the environment in which the excavator is operating in is changing constantly and it may be somewhat difficult to keep up with the changes. However, adhering to basic safety guidelines will help increase awareness and reduce the risk of accidents while working with excavators.
First, even before work with the excavator commences, a safe environment should be created for all workers, as well as non-workers such as pedestrians. For a safe environment to be created the level of risk should be controlled. People not working in the project should be completely excluded from the working area. This can be done with the use of signs or even fencing off the site. Next would be to ensure that the working site should be cleared so that it remains open, ensuring good visibility for the operator especially when rotating the machine. There should also be a signaller at the site to direct the movements of the operator, thus reducing the risk of anyone being hurt by the excavator.
Inspection and maintenance procedures should be carried out as frequently as is necessary. There should also be basic visual check carried out on a daily basis. Pre-inspection and servicing of the excavator should be carried out as per the manufacturer’s manual. Inspection of all components of the excavator, from the cab to the excavator swing bearing and also the undercarriage should be carried out thoroughly. If any defects are spotted, they should be reported immediately and if found to be severe, the excavator should not be used at all. At all stages of operating the excavator the hazards should be identified and proper safety measures taken. For instance, a worker might be hit during the reverse of the excavator, or perhaps while it is rotating a stray pedestrian might be trapped between the excavator and a vehicle. All workers, especially the excavator drivers, should be encouraged to wear protective clothing such as protective headgear, to protect them should they fall while trying to access the cab.
Finally, all operators, workers, as well as non-workers should be properly trained on how to handle themselves safely at a work site. The non-workers here refer to pedestrians, who should always be directed to safe routes and be knowledgeable in ways to make themselves visible to the driver should the need to do so arise.
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