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Prevent Costly Maintenance With a Heavy Equipment Inspection Checklist

A heavy equipment checklist helps to maintain specialized equipment to identify, maintain, and repair any issues that might jeopardize the safety of workers.

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What Is a Heavy Equipment Inspection Checklist?


A heavy equipment inspection checklist is a tool used to identify, assess, and verify any issues and corrective actions performed on the specialized equipment. The checklist ensures that you don’t forget any critical tasks. It also allows you to take notes and photos and give recommendations.


Checklists will vary depending on the equipment that will be evaluated. However, certain safety steps are universal and can be incorporated into any type of checklist. Here are some of them:


  • Categorize the items so you can quickly navigate to the part you are working on. Use simple names for your categories so it will be easier for another person to use them.
  • Make the items clear, specific, and actionable. Vague instructions can lead to neglect. For example, don’t just put “check safety exits.” Which safety exit do you mean? It’s crucial if it’s a big complex and there are many safety exits around it. Instead, you can be more specific by saying, “check if safety exits have obstructions,” or “check the safety exits on the second floor.” By breaking them down into specific actions, they become more powerful.
  • Make sure you don’t skip any step on the list all the time.
  • Don’t forget to write recommendations to improve the machinery and lessen the hazard at work.


This article covers the following topics:


1. What are the 3 main hazards involved when working with Heavy Equipment?


2. What are safety rules for heavy equipment using specific machinery?


3. Why use a digital inspection report when working with heavy equipment??



Yellow heavy machine working

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What Are the 3 Main Hazards Involved When Working With Heavy Equipment?


Operating heavy machinery comes with various risks. To reduce and prevent injuries and accidents related to heavy equipment operation, workers should be aware of the risks and hazards that surround them. Mitigating potential dangerous conditions is another step to make the workplace safer.


There are three primary hazard categories when working around heavy equipment:


Mechanical Hazards


Heavy construction equipment has several moving parts. When the machines are not in use, they are relatively safe and stable. When they are in use, however, they release enormous power and are capable of creating serious damage.


Individuals working around these machines should watch out for moving parts that could reach them. Heavy equipment could also release objects and hit someone. Common mechanical hazards include sharp edges, rotating shafts, detachable connections, colliding surfaces, and more. Risks associated with these hazards include severing, puncturing, entanglement, slips, falls, and crushing.


Non-Mechanical Hazards


Aside from the moving components, the stored energy in these machines can pose danger when released. Some of these include:

  • Fluids and gasses under pressure
  • Dust
  • Steam releases
  • Explosive or flammable materials
  • Heavy metals like mercury and lead
  • Conducted heat

Exposure to these non-mechanical hazards can cause burns, lung problems, and long-term illnesses such as cancer. Then the potential noise hazard that these heavy machines generate can damage the ears.


Access Hazards


Many workplace deaths and injuries occur when workers have unsafe access where this heavy machinery operates. The absence of safe access can trap and expose workers to both mechanical and non-mechanical hazards. However, accidents and injuries can be avoided and prevented by placing safeguards, proper planning, and increasing employees’ risk awareness.


To further mitigate access hazards, consider the following factors and include them in your heavy equipment inspection report:


  • Authorized people who have access to hazardous areas
  • The type of equipment in operation

By predicting and planning access control in advance, the lesser risk exposure is.



What Are Safety Rules for Heavy Equipment Using Specific Machinery?


Heavy machinery has different categories and equipment types. Most of the safety tips apply to all machines, but some precautions only apply to specific devices. Here are some safety tips for the most common heavy equipment machines:


Excavators


These machines are used across the construction industry. Most of them are track-equipped, but there are some with rubber tires. Excavators come in different sizes, from giant machines that move yards of material per bucket to smaller ones used in narrow places. If you are operating or working around excavators:


  • Look out for the blind spot next to the boom arm
  • Disengage the drive and lower the bucket when the machine is not in use
  • Don’t operate horizontally to side slopes

Skid Steer Loaders


These machines are versatile and highly maneuverable. They are mainly used to move different materials of various sizes. Skid steers are not difficult to operate, and learning how to manage them isn’t as complicated as the other machines. However, any errors running them can cause serious injury. To ensure safety when working around them, don’t forget to:


  • Wear your safety belts in any condition at any given time.
  • Mount and dismount the machine using the grips and steps provided by the manufacturer.
  • Exercise caution when moving forward and backward with a heavy load.

Motor Graders


A common machine in construction sites, motor graders are used for beveling, angling, and smoothing finished grades. If not handled correctly, they could be extremely dangerous. So remember the following steps when working around motor graders:


  • Always look out for the blade width relative to obstructions and obstacles.
  • Familiarize yourself with the steering frame lock-link settings and the wheel lean lock bolts.
  • Be aware that overheated grader tires could explode violently.

Bulldozers


These mighty earthmovers can push a massive amount of materials. And just like any heavy equipment machines, bulldozers deserve respect when operating and working around them. Don’t forget to include these safety tips in your heavy equipment inspection checklist:


  • Avoid close slopes operation. Instead, work up and down on slopes.
  • Keep the blade at least 15 inches above ground level when not in use.
  • Take extra care when working in knock-down tree areas

Compactors


These machines come in different configurations like tandem vibrator rollers and soil compactors among others. Don’t forget these tips when operating a compactor:


  • Check the machine thoroughly for leaks, damages, and looseness before using it.
  • Use a spotter when operating the machine in congested areas to avoid unnecessary accidents.
  • Get off the compactor using the appropriate handholds.


Heavy equipment at work

Why Use a Digital Inspection Report When Working With Heavy Equipment?


Paperwork on the job site is annoying and can mean a long trip to the office. A digital tool like Lumiform makes it easier to access and secure documents and share information about discovered incidents during inspections. This not only saves time but also increases safety when handling heavy equipment.


Any workplace with heavy equipment should place special emphasis on complying with regulations and taking steps to protect workers and the environment. A cost-effective and reliable inspection solution like Lumiform is the right solution.


With Lumiform's mobile app and desktop software, safety officers and employees benefit from the following features during heavy equipment inspections:

  • Use heavy equipment inspection form anytime, anywhere, and on any mobile device just using the app, even when you're offline.
  • Easily document any issues by taking pictures and writing comments.
  • Assign and track corrective and preventive actions to staff in real time.
  • Solve problems faster by collaborating with the team through the app.
  • Share the automatically generated inspection report with the appropriate personnel immediately upon completion for immediate action.
  • Save all information securely in the cloud and access it at any time.



Heavy equipment on a construction site


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