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Working Safely with Mobile Plant Equipment in Winter

20th November 2017

Working with or around mobile plant equipment is a high-risk activity and exposes numerous hazards. Whilst your workforce and operators may be trained, some may be new to equipment operation and some although competent, can become complacent over time. Unfortunately, a lack of competence or a complacent operator can lead to accidents.
As the winter months are upon us and your operatives are likely to be working outside or in areas of artificial lighting- help keep them safe and remind them to be vigilant and consider the following safety measures. 

1. Unintentional movement of equipment controls 
Ensure that the PPE you wear in winter is not too bulky and catches on controls when accessing and egressing the equipment. Wear fitted clothing or under layers to stay warm rather than adding bulky layers and increasing your risk of unintentionally pressing controls. 

2. Visibility
Make sure your sites is suitably lit and your vehicle safety features are working properly. This includes horns, warning beacons and reversing alarms. Ensure your washer fluid is topped up and you have access to de-icer. Those who work night shifts will be aware of darkened light levels however those who work day shifts will not be as familiar- make sure these operators have time to adjust. 

3. Ground Conditions 
Always check the tire pressure of your vehicle at the start of your morning shift if the previous night has been colder than usual- this will cause an extended warm up time and a difference in ground conditions. Remember to be aware of stopping distances and ground stability during the colder months. 

4. Slips, Trips and Falls 
The risk of slips, trips and falls will be more likely in winter. Remember that handrails and steps may become icy overnight. 

5. Risk Assessment 
Check that your site risk assessments reflects the potential risks throughout the year and communicate the changes in risks to your workforce. Simple bulletins, notices and tool box talks can support this and reinforce safety measures. 

Keep working safely this winter- for more information on how to operate with mobile plant equipment safety please call us today on 01246 386900 

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