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Working With Heavy Machinery1

Tips To Protect Yourself When Working With Heavy Machinery


Congratulations! You just got a job working in a warehouse and you start next week. This is your first job that requires working with heavy/heavier machinery. So, naturally, you have a few questions. Naturally, we have a few tips.

Working With Heavy Machinery

Safety! You will see the word “safety” plastered all throughout the warehouse you are about to work at. Safety is the main concern for most employers. Some employers even welcome safety committees and invite employee pro-activeness.

You should be proactive about safety too.

Did you know in 2015, that 21.4 percent of worker fatalities were from the construction industry alone? That means one in five. OSHA has what they call, The Fatal Four.

The Fatal Four is:

Struck by object, electrocution, caught in between and falls. These four categories account for 64.2 percent of work fatalities. If these four subjects were eliminated (as they should be), the work place could spare the lives of 602 employees.

Stats aside, let’s look at some ideas and tips on how to prevent you from serious injury and possible death when you are working with heavy machinery.

Tip 1: Proper Inspection of Machinery

As a new employee, most likely that role will go to a seasoned employee or supervisor. Proper Inspection is crucial to everyone’s safety in the workplace. Checking for inconsistencies in or on the machinery, or looking for malfunctioning parts, will help reduce the chances of injury.

Proper inspections are much needed, and most companies that value employee safety usually has someone who does just that for a job. They inspect each piece of machinery carefully and closely to make sure that it can function appropriately for the employee to use. If it isn’t working right, or malfunctioning, they use what is called a “lock out, tag out,” sticker to make sure nobody is going to be in harm’s way as the machine gets maintenance.

Tip 2: Proper Safety Equipment, PPE

When you are in a certain industry, such as construction, it is best to wear full personal protective equipment. Even if you are in a warehouse, you may be required to wear one or several PPE’s. This could be protective eye wear or a hard-hat. To avoid being crushed by a heavy machine, such as a bulldozer or backhoe, it is best that you wear a neon colored vest to make yourself visible.

Being visible reduces the chances of being crushed or ran into. Make sure you go over with your Human Resources officer or supervisor about the several options you have for PPE.

Tip 3: Stay Clear of Loading Zones

Loading zones are something you are most likely to encounter on the job at a warehouse. Loading zones are busy with activity and that typically involves vehicles loading packages, pallets of consumer good or factory material.

Pay attention to signs that are posted around the warehouse. This could save you a trip to the hospital and from being crushed by a heavy package.

Tip 4: Never Interfere With Moving or Working Equipment

Using common sense will go a long way in workplace safety. If your machinery is working, and you notice something caught up, try to utilize a shutdown button, but never- NEVER- stick your hand in or jump into an area where you have the chance to be maimed.

Allow the machinery to work on its own. Your life isn’t worth the scolding of your supervisor because you didn’t jump in after something getting caught in a machine.

Tip 5: Don’t Operate Anything Unless You’re Fully Trained

Some of your co-workers may ask you for help or to take over a task for them. Thinking your new, and that they can take advantage of you, this gives a perfect opportunity for a co-employee to put you in harm’s way,

If you don’t know how to operate or simply perform a job duty—DON’T DO IT!

It’s that simple, your employer doesn’t want you doing a job you aren’t supposed to or are qualified for. If they do, they’ll grab a trainer to properly train for the job.


While there are many more tips we could go over, these are some of the more essential and easy suggestions that anyone should be able to follow. By following these tips, and others implemented by your employer, you could reduce and steer clear of any workplace hazards.

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