Vehicles and Heavy Equipment Training Guide
(Taken from the "Tailgate Meetings that Work : A Guide
to Effective Construction Safety Training" series)
Robin Baker, Robert
Downey, Mary Ruth Gross, Charles Reiter
Labor Occupational Health Program
(LOHP) School of Public Health,
University of California, Berkeley Ca.
talks were developed for use under California OSHA regulations. The
complete set is available from the Labor Occupational Health Program
at UC Berkeley. For ordering information, visit the website (www.lohp.org)
The American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)
has adapted these talks to apply to federal OSHA regulations. To contact
ACGIH, visit its web site (www.acgih.org).
Before you begin the meeting...
- Does this topic
relate to the work the crew is doing? If not, choose another topic.
- Did you read
this Training Guide and fill in the blanks where the
(To find the information you need, look over the Safety Walkaround Checklist
for this topic.)
to OSHA, falls are the leading cause of death in construction jobs. But,
close behind, the #2 cause is being struck by a vehicle or other object.
About 75% of these fatalities involve trucks, cranes, and other heavy
You or a crew member
may want to add a personal story about accidents involving vehicles or heavy
Next, discuss with
the crew what vehicle and heavy equipment hazards there may be at this
particular job site:
THE CREW THESE QUESTIONS:
After each question,
give the crew time to suggest possible answers. Use the information following
each question to add points that no one mentions.
1. If you're
a vehicle or heavy equipment operator, what's the first thing you should
do at the beginning of each shift?
- Inspect your
equipment, and report any damage or other problems.
2. What should
your inspection cover?
- Windshield and
- Defogging and
- Brakes (both
parking and service brakes)
- Operating controls
- Leaking fluids
- Headlights, taillights,
brake lights, and turn signals
- Seat belts
- Horn and back-up
alarm (loud enough to be heard 200 feet away)
- Roll-over protection
- Cab shields or
canopies on haulage vehicles.
3. What are some
safety rules to follow when operating any type of vehicle?
- Wear a seat belt
when operating any type of vehicle, whether it's a truck, bulldozer,
loader, or grader.
- Don't exceed
the speed limit for the area.
- Don't allow riders
unless the vehicle is designed for them.
- Refuel only when
the vehicle is turned off and there are no sources of ignition nearby.
NO SMOKING signs should be posted in refueling areas.
- Don't run the
engine in an enclosed area unless there is enough ventilation.
4. Before you
move heavy equipment, what safety measures should you take?
5. How far from a
high voltage line must you keep a boom, crane, or lifting equipment? Who
is in danger if the equipment contacts the line?
- Make sure there
are warning signs, barricades, or flaggers to keep people out of the
- Make sure you
have a spotter to guide you when necessary.
- Be aware of overhead
obstructions, like power lines or trees.
- If you don't have
a clear view, walk around the vehicle to check for obstructions.
- Make sure your
vehicle is not overloaded.
- Make sure any
load you are carrying is secured and stable.
- Keep all equipment
at least 10 feet from high voltage lines that carry 50,000 volts or
less. The clearance distance is more if the line carries higher voltage.
- Everyone nearby
is in danger if equipment contacts the line—not just the operator.
Voltage Lines are covered in more detail in a separate Training Guide.)
6. If you're
working near moving vehicles or equipment, what are the most important
safety points to remember?
- Stay alert at
- Don't listen
to the radio; it's distracting.
- Keep a safe distance.
- Keep off the equipment
- Wear a bright
vest or jacket if you are working near moving vehicles or heavy equipment.
Wear reflectorized clothing at night.
- Stay clear of
dumping or lifting devices.
is required to enforce the safety rules we've discussed. To make sure
vehicles are operated safely, what else does management have to do?
- Check that all
operators are properly licensed for the vehicles they are using.
- Train workers
in specific safety practices related to a particular job.
- Keep equipment
in good condition.
- Set up a system
to control the traffic flow, both on the site and at junctions with
public roads. If barricades and warning signs aren't enough, flaggers
Most of the safety measures we've talked about are required by Cal/OSHA.
We have to take these precautions—it's the law. I have a Checklist of
the Cal/OSHA regulations on vehicles and heavy equipment. If you'd like
to know more, see me after the meeting.
(Only if applicable.)
Besides the Cal/OSHA regulations, we have some additional company rules
about vehicles and heavy equipment.
you have any other concerns about vehicles or heavy equipment? Do you
see any problems on our job? (Let the steward answer first, if there
What about other
jobs you've worked on? Have you had any experience with vehicles or heavy
equipment that might help us work safer on this job?
OF THOSE WHO ATTENDED THIS SAFETY MEETING
Meetings That Work : Collection
Published in June, 1994 by: Labor Occupational Health Program, School
of Public Health, 2515 Channing Way, University of California, Berkeley,
CA 94720. Phone: (510) 642-5507.
Permission is granted to duplicate these materials for non-profit educational
purposes, provided that copies are not offered for sale.
This paper appears in the eLCOSH website with the permission of the author
and/or copyright holder and may not be reproduced without their consent.
eLCOSH is an information clearinghouse. eLCOSH and its sponsors are not
responsible for the accuracy of information provided on this web site,
nor for its use or misuse.
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