One of the most widespread pieces of construction equipment found today is the JCB. Given the JCB’s flexibility and maneuverability, this makes a lot of sense. But as admired as they are, workers have been critically injured and killed working around these machines, regularly because they were not using appropriate safety measures.
The key to efficient JCB safety, of course, is training. JCB operators should be particularly trained to operate them, but other workers who work around them should also obtain special safety training as well.
Operators should execute basic safety practices every single time the apparatus is used. First, operators should carry out a pre-shift assessment prior to use, to ensure that all lights and signals, connections, tires and guards are in appropriate working order and that no part of the equipment is loose or faulty. If an operator finds that any part of the equipment is damaged or not working, such parts should be mended or reinstated before use.
Operators and all other employees should always carry out a detailed check of workplace surroundings, as well as a check on all employees and hindrances in the surrounding area. All workers on the ground in the surrounding area of the JCB should wear flagging garments and correct safety gear. Operators should also take immense care, and drive the JCB at a eased speed when turning or working in professional conditions, as rollovers are one of the most important causes of JCB grievances and fatalities. Operators should also be conscious of all buried and overhead power and gas lines, as electrocution is one more common cause of equipment fatal accident.
Never start the JCB from any pose other than the driver’s seat. Though some skilled operators like to start the JCB while standing on the ground, it’s a bad idea, as some machines could have wedged controls which unexpectedly become unstuck when started. Use the handrail or steps when escalating the machine, three points of contact at all times. Never mount or dismount the rear of the machine among the swing boom and the rear stabilizer. Never use the controls as hand holds, for getting on and off the machine. Always use the dangle pin and boom and loader lift cylinder locks.
JCB are essential pieces of equipment, because they make everyone’s job easier. But only appropriately trained workers should control them, and all workers should be trained properly to work securely around them. This is really where a culture of safety is most needed; a short training program or video won’t keep employees safe. Everyone needs to value the equipment.