Important Safety Measures When Using a Backhoe
Backhoes are becoming sophisticated by the passing day but the basic safety measures when using even the latest machinery for construction remains more or less the same. At best the list of safety measures goes on getting longer with newer technology being adapted in these machines. Here are some basic safety measures to keep in mind when operating one of these machines.
- Hard hat it: Using a bright colored hard hat is a must for all working on a site where the backhoe is being operated and the operator too. Any site where ECE are being used, by default become hard hat regions making use of a hard hat mandatory. The bright color of the hard hat is to make sure that it draws enough attention towards people wearing it. It helps prevent accidents by warning the backhoe operator of people within the working radius of the machine. Additionally, hard hats protect the wearer from head injury and consequently brain damage in case of an accident.
- Bright colored vest: The vest again is mostly for catching attention with its bright neon colors. While the vests do not do much to protect the body from injury in case of an accident, they do reduce the chances of people being injured around a working machine.
- Safety belt is safety first: The safety belt while small is one of the most important measures that need to be in place for safety of the operator. It is this seemingly simple looking but sturdy belt that helps keep the operator safe when inside the cabin. A safety belt should always be used no matter how experienced or confident the operator is. It is the safety belt alone that will keep the operator safe in case the loader tumbles for any reason.
- Construction cones to the rescue: Highway cones, safety cones, construction cones all refer to the same brightly colored cone shaped plastic markers that we often see on roads and construction sites. These cones should be used to outline the job site where the backhoe is being used. It warns people of construction working going on in the area and that stepping in the area can be fatal.
- Drive slow: backhoes are capable of being driven at speeds as high at 25 kmpl and above. While capable of speed, backhoes should always be driven at slow speeds to prevent accidents of both the machine and of the people working on the site. Machines are likely to topple over if driven to fast when the weight is not centered.
- Say no to the joy rides: As Indians we usually find it difficult to say no to people asking for a short ride across the job site. However, the backhoe is strictly a single person machine. No matter who and why, no other person other than the operator should be riding the backhoe at any given point of time. It shifts the center of gravity away from the center of the machine and increases the possibility of the machine loosing balance and toppling over.
Oldest or latest machinery for construction doesn’t matter unless the safety measures are in place and followed, especially in a county like India where safety of workers is barely given any regard.