Because jumping down off large equipment is a common practice for construction workers, it’s no surprise that lower back, knee, ankle and neck injuries occur more frequently. Regardless of the type of equipment employees work with, mounting and dismounting safely should always be top of mind.
What Employees Can Do:
To lessen their risk of injuries, instruct employees to follow these simple mounting and dismounting steps for trucks and other tall equipment or machinery.
- When using a new piece of machinery, become familiar with proper mounting and dismounting procedures.
- When dismounting and mounting, maintain three-point contact. This means having contact with the construction equipment by either one foot and two hands or one hand and two feet. The smaller the triangle you form with your body, the more stable you are.
- Always face the vehicle, both when mounting and dismounting.
- Look at the surface below before stepping and make sure it is even to prevent ankle and knee injuries.
- Never mount or dismount moving equipment.
- Do not mount or dismount with anything, including tools, in your hands. Not only does it throw your body off-balance, it also reduces your chance of recovering your balance if you do slip. Use a drop rope to raise and lower supplies, tools and equipment instead.
- Handholds and footholds are on the equipment for a reason – use them.
- Wear appropriate clothing. Loose or torn clothing can get caught on equipment when you are jumping down instead of climbing down. In slippery conditions, wear proper footwear to prevent slipping hazards.
Proper vehicle maintenance also contributes to the safe mounting and dismounting of equipment. Do a vehicle walk around with employees and make sure running boards, treads, steps, footholds and platforms are kept clear. Hazards like ice, snow and grease can also cause slips, trips and falls.
Find Out More:
This list is not exhaustive; assessing your exposures and taking the appropriate precautions can go a long way toward protecting your business and your workers. This proactive approach is particularly important when it comes to identifying and avoiding gaps in your risk management program.
Download our “Construction Employee Safety Manual” guide for an in-depth list of more ways to minimize gaps in your risk management and keep your employees safe: