So many things happen on a daily basis on a construction site, that I feel as a plant operator make me cringe.
Lets be honest we are all guilty of being complacent in our working environment! I find every day that some one will walk towards my machine with out any prior notice, most of the time I see them but there are to many times that I don’t see the operative on the ground. This Scares me if i’m honest! I love my job and the last thing I want is to have some one hurt by the machine I’m operating because they came from a blind spot on the machine.
I love how the industry is changing with adaptions such as proximity alarms to alert the operator that some one is in the immediate zone, causing the operator to acknowledge that some one is there. Also with 360 degree cameras i have got to say What a fantastic idea! The ability to see all round the machine on one screen. But on the back foot couldn’t an operator get to used to having this ? I hate to say it but honestly think this could be the case.
So Lets Think about the basics! If you saw a train speeding towards you would you step in front of it? Or would you stand Behind a reversing wagon (unless banking)? Most items of plant can change the direction they travel in a split second! So if the mindset could be changed to work along side the latest gadgets available I think we can reduce accidents where Plant and site operatives are at risk of entering each others work zones.
We can’t just rely on the plant operator to know we are there, but a simple thumbs up from a distance safe enough in the operators view ideally cab side not boom side or behind. The practice I use is when some one comes close to me they alert me they are there! I then dead man the machine and put both thumbs up! This alone reduces any risk as both my hands are off the leavers! I feel that to make this worth while educating not just the plant men but the other site operatives too! So for the guys on the ground Stop. Get the operators attention from a safe distance, Two thumbs up, Wait for the Plant operator to dead man the machine and return the two thumbs up!
As I said earlier his/her hands are off the leavers completely with the two thumbs up! This has got to be a better practice than a live machine with one hand on the leaver and a single thumbs up. So remember you only get one Life, give the TWO THUMBS UP! And get the TWO THUMBS UP!