Startup of machines includes a walk around to determine if there are any visible deficiencies and to ensure the condition of components. Fully document any concerns and notify your supervisor if the machine needs immediate service. The machine should be climbed using 3 points of contact at all times. Jumping off the machine is not allowed. Rungs and walking surfaces should be kept clean of mud and grease to reduce slips and trips.
Before moving the machine, ensure the area is clear. Workers may have entered the area since startup was initiated. MSHA requires the horn to be honked prior to moving equipment and if it has been stationary for any extended amount of time. This is a good practice for all jobs, so incorporate this into your daily practices.
When working on the ground near machines, put a barrier between you and the machine whenever possible. Park the pickup or the mule between you and the equipment to serve as a visible barrier. Cones can also be used to increase your visibility to the operator. Don’t turn your back on the machine if you can avoid it, and always be listening for travel alarms.
Operators are always looking out for you, but they have significant blind spots on the equipment. Make eye contact with them and signal your intentions. Wait for them to acknowledge you. Do not go behind reversing machines. Do not assume that you can be seen.
Equipment being operated on slopes can be tipped over if the center of gravity extends outside the wheels or tracks of equipment. Loads should be carried as low as possible. Rocks can fall out of buckets or dumps, and workers should avoid working directly below equipment. Avoid walking or standing on the far side of trucks being loaded, material can roll out of the bed. Seat belts must be worn if installed.
When parking equipment, they should be placed on level ground. If there is a slope, the machine should be turned sideways on the slope or parked with tires turned to the curb. Follow the manufacturer’s requirements for your specific piece of equipment. This usually involves lowering to the ground or stowing and locking the attachments, like blades and buckets. Shut off the equipment. Do not leave keys in the machine. Never climb off a running piece of equipment.
Never allow an unqualified person to operate the equipment. This exposes you and the company to liability and potential law suits.