It's National Safety Month - remember these ten heavy equipment safety tips

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Safety around heavy equipment at Ritchie Bros.

Stay safe on the job now and always

June is National Safety Month, a time when the National Safety Council highlights the importance of job safety. When it comes to the health and safety of Ritchie Bros.’ employees and customers, safety is paramount in how we work. In fact our company safety commitment is “to send everyone home, every day, the way they came to work”.

To help you stay safe, we’ve put together ten tips for safety, because if you work around any kind of heavy equipment, you need to have a healthy respect for it. There are thousands of heavy equipment-related incidents each year resulting in injuries and, unfortunately in some cases, fatalities.

There’s never usually one, simple blanket reason or one type of person we can attribute heavy equipment-related incidents to - they can happen to seasoned operators as well as newly trained ones. Every machine and every situation comes with its own set of hazards, but there are some general safety rules you can follow to help you end every work day safely.

Ten heavy equipment safety tips

  1. Make sure you’ve been properly trained on the equipment you’re using by qualified, experienced people.

  2. Be aware, stay alert and know your equipment’s blind spots – whether you’re the operator or just working around it.

  3. Communicate with people working around you – either via two-way radios or a spotter who’s been trained on standard hand signals. Never assume people know what you’re going to be doing.

  4. Always wear high-visibility clothing, including steel-toed boots.

  5. Always wear your seat belt. It seems obvious, but it’s easily forgotten. In case of a rollover this can be a life saver.

  6. Don't climb on or get off equipment while it's moving. You can easily slip, trip, or fall and land underneath or in the path of the moving machine.

  7. Never exceed the load that a machine is rated to carry. This can lead to roll overs, loads falling, or other catastrophic, and very dangerous, failures.

  8. Climb on and off equipment properly. Falls are still the number one cause of injury, so never jump off equipment and always use three-point contact (both feet and one hand or one foot and both hands on the holds at all times) when climbing on or off equipment.

  9. Always do a walk around and inspect the equipment before you start using it. Check tires, tracks, components and other mechanisms for cracks, damage or anything caught in them.

  10. Always load and unload equipment on level ground to reduce the risk of rollovers, and keep the area clear.
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