Spotting Safety: Earthmoving Equipment Training

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Although it’s impossible to discern exactly what led to this overturned skid steer, an experienced operator can tell you that it can be easy to upset earthmoving equipment like this. Because of the weighted back end, if you go too fast uphill or backwards downhill, and have the bucket lifted high enough to raise the center of gravity, you can pop a wheelie or roll completely over which makes having a proper earthmoving safety training kit important.

A correctly trained operator should know this.

OSHA forklift regulations explain the training required in 1910.178(l). It’s up to the employer to ensure their operators have successfully completed a training program under an instructor who has the knowledge, training, and experience to teach and evaluate the operator. Training should include formal instruction, practical training, and performance evaluations.

Truck related topics include: operating instructions, warnings, precautions, differences between the truck and an automobile, controls and instrumentation, engine operation, steering and maneuvering, visibility, attachment operation, vehicle capacity and stability, inspections and maintenance, refueling/recharging, and operating limitations.

Other applicable OHSA regulations include:

  • The employer shall instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and the regulations applicable to his work environment to control or eliminate any hazards or other exposure to illness or injury. 1926.21(b)(2)
  • The employer shall permit only those employees qualified by training or experience to operate equipment or machinery. 1926.20(b)(4)

Because this vehicle moves earth, it isn’t automatically regulated under the General Industry Powered Industrial Trucks regulation 1910.178 (forklifts), but instead fits under 1926.602 for Construction Material Handling Equipment. And there, operator training requirements are identical to the PIT training requirements — 1926.602(d).

All Spotting Safety Articles:

  • Excavation Cave-ins
  • Scaffolding Footing
  • Scaffolding Toprails
  • Earthmoving Equipment Training
  • Self Supporting Ladders
  • Forklift Counterweighting
  • Power Tool Trigger Guards
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