The National Utility Contractors Association has declared this June “Trench Safety Month.” Week 2 discusses the best practices for operating heavy equipment. This is important because there are many hazards that can occur when using heavy earth-moving equipment. Thus, all operators should be trained well to recognize these hazards while driving and operating heavy equipment, parking, and securing heavy equipment, and even maintaining and repairing heavy equipment. 

Whenever you are driving and operating a piece of heavy machinery, it is imperative to perform a “pre-check” before starting any equipment. This should involve checking all fluids, brakes, lights, and operational controls. Before hooking up additional equipment, make sure to lower any attachments. Before backing up, be sure that everyone is clear from your path. Never leave a machine on an incline with the engine running because the vibration could unintentionally move the equipment. Don’t allow anyone to ride the machine, and always display flashing lights and a slow vehicle triangle when operating on an active road. When going downhill, proceed cautiously and never coast. 

When parking your equipment, always lower attachments and set the parking brake before dismounting. Once you’re finished for the day, secure the equipment, and chock the wheels if parked on an incline.

To learn more about the best practices for operating heavy equipment, please visit:


DII is your partner in trench and equipment safety. Our team of experts can work with you to understand how to teach your employees best safety practices in the field. Please contact your DII representative for more information.  #TrenchSafetyMonth  #HeavyEquipment

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