Skid Steer Safety

I know skid steers are considerably smaller than most equipment on site. Compared to heavy equipment like excavators, they look like toys. However these small, little machines can cause a whole lot of damage. Most injuries and deaths that occur with skid steers are caused by workers caught between the bucket and something else. Pinning incidents and other hazards can be avoided, here’s how.

Only operate a skid steer if you are qualified to do so, having a ticket isn’t enough. Make sure you are deemed competent. Always do your pre-work inspection every time you are about to operate the skid steer. Along with the pre-work inspections you should be doing a more in-depth analysis every so many hours that you run the skid steer. This will be in the operator’s manual. Check to make sure the last inspection was done and know when it’s needed again. Read the the manual. Put your seat belt on and start up the machine.

Never leave the skid steer unattended while it’s running. Always put the bucket down to the ground when parking it. Travel with your bucket low to the ground. Watch the weight of your load and counter balance.

If operating with other workers in the area, try and flag off your area or have a spotter to direct workers safely around the moving skid steer. Always make eye contact with workers wishing to cross in front of you. Stop immediately if visual contact is lost with your spotter. And of course no bucket rides and stay seated while driving.  Just because they look like toys compared to the much larger equipment on site, does not mean they they should be treated as such. These machines can cause serious injuries and death. So make sure not to toy around with your safety or that of someone else’s.

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