Skid steers are a big help for completing various jobs when you have the right attachments. Of course, before employees can jump in and get to work, they need to know how to handle this piece of equipment. Prevent accidents with these three skid steer operations and materials handling safety tips.

Know the Dangers

Operating any machinery or tool can come with dangers to both the operator and surrounding workers, especially when employees don’t use the tool properly. Improper use of these machines could leave one or several of your employees severely injured or worse. Depending on the necessary attachments and use of the skid steer, these accidents could include:

  • Rollover accidents
  • Crushed by parts
  • Pinned between the skid steer loader

Understanding the dangers of improper use is important to you and every team member working in the area.

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Ensure Workers Enter and Exit Safely

Although skid steers come with seatbelts, skid screens, and interlocking control systems, employees still need an in-depth understanding of how everything works. According to OSHA standards, they must:

  • Park the skid steer
  • Lower any attachment
  • Turn off the engine and remove the key.

Employees should also know never to exit the skid steer while the engine is running; this could result in a rollover accident or crush the worker if the lift arms remain raised. Also, workers should never take risks simply to meet a deadline. Remind them to talk to you if they have concerns about completion dates.

Pro Tip

Take time to read through the operator’s manual and have the employee that’ll use the skid steer do the same. You can get further assistance with training by contacting the manufacturer. There’s no such thing as too much training when it comes to safety.

Operate the Skid Steer Safely

The third skid steer operation and materials handling safety tip is to follow safety protocols and appropriate operating procedures. When a worker gets into the skid-steer loader, they should scope out the worksite for fellow workers to ensure no one is in the area.

Once this checks out, the operator should buckle their seatbelt and lower the restraint bar, then begin operations. Your workers should remain on level ground and only lift loads within the manufacturer’s recommended weight capacity. By operating the machine appropriately, you prevent the risk of accidents.