Heavy Equipment Safety: Basic Safety Tips in Bulldozer Operations

George Davis

Bulldozers are designed to cut and push large quantities of material in a matter of seconds. With their enormous size, they can cause serious injury and even death, if not operated properly. Read below to be in the know about safety measures for the operation of bulldozers.

  • Only qualified, competent and trained workers should be allowed to operate and ride on bulldozers.
  • Operators must always use seatbelts when riding or operating the bulldozer.

Photo by Kenn W. Kiser

  • Start the engine only when seated on the operator’s seat and when the path is clear of workers, objects and other obstructions.
  • Workers must follow proper lockout, blockout and tagout procedures, especially when a bulldozer is in need of repairs.
  • Use a system of traffic controls when operating the bulldozer on a public thoroughfare or in an area close to vehicle traffic or obstructing it.
  • Flaggers must be assigned in areas where warning signs and barricades cannot control traffic flow.
  • Keep bulldozers away from overhead power lines.
  • Before operations, qualified personnel must test if the manual warning device (horn) of the bulldozer works.
  • The bulldozer must also be equipped with an automatic back-up alarm that can be heard through the whole worksite.
  • Shut off the engine whenever refueling.
  • The bulldozer must be equipped with rollover protection structures (ROPS).
  • Never climb on parts of the machine where hand and foot holds are not provided.
  • Be doubly cautious when approaching or operating near trenches or excavations.
  • Never use the bulldozer on structures that are taller than the bulldozer itself, unless there is sufficient overhead protection.

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