Safely Mounting and Dismounting Heavy Equipment

Most heavy duty operators probably don’t really give a lot of thought to mounting and dismounting their equipment. I mean it’s part of their getting-in and out and they probably do it a zillion times a day (no exaggeration at all here 😉). Whether you are mounting a piece of heavy equipment for the first time or it’s your zillionth time today, there are a few things you should do to ensure a safe and injury free entrance or exit.

The first thing you should do… as with any piece of equipment, is read the operator’s manual. This will give you the proper way to mount and dismount this particular equipment. Always give a once over to look for mud, ice and other conditions that could cause a slip, trip or fall. Also see where your feet will land, to avoid a sprain or twist. Give the guards and rails an inspection too. Use 3 points of contact. This means no large double, double in one hand. Obviously you will need to bring items… especially that coffee, in and out of the cab; so you can either ask someone to hand it to you (if safely possible) after you have safely mounted, or place it safely on a step or ledge and alternate having your 3 points and move it when you have two feet planted and one free hand. Always close and latch the gate or door, both while in the equipment and when exiting. Face the equipment while mounting or dismounting if equipment with a ladder; if it has stairs, face the direction of travel.

Operating one of these pieces of equipment has a lot of hazards to look out for.  Getting in and out of them is one that is often overlooked. It may take an extra 5 seconds to do it safely. Even if you think “I do this a zillion times a day and I’m always fine;” just think… that’s a zillion times that there is a chance for an injury. Take your time and do it safely.

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