Know The Dangers When Operating A Dump Truck

Operating a dump truck is a very serious job and there are many hazards that come along with the job. Every year there are hundreds of accidents involving dump trucks and large commercial trucks. Theses vehicles have to be operated with great attention to safety and use of proper safety procedures. Many of these accidents happen on the jobsite and involve work crew on the ground. This article will go over important safety tips to follow to keep you and your crew safe.

Don’t assume every truck or equipment operator is aware of foot traffic around his/her machine.

  • Be sure to notify the job supervisor as soon as you arrive on site. This gives the supervisor an idea of what crew is on site, where they will be working and also gives the supervisor a chance to notify you of any safety issues on the jobsite.
  • Always wear high-visibility clothing at all times. Whether you are operating equipment or on the ground, you should always be seen.
  • Listen for equipment alarms. Workers who are in and around equipment day in and day out sometimes get used to safety alarms on equipment, but when you hear a alarm it is important to find the alarm and make sure you are not in the path of the machine.
  • Avoid main equipment traffic areas as much as possible. Theses areas are designated for trucks and equipment only and operators do not expect to see workers in them. If you need to access one of these areas, make sure the operators know about it and let them know when you have left the area.

“Be sure all of your trucks and machines are being inspected on a daily basis.

  • “A vehicle inspection should include brakes, engine fluids, lights, tires and operating systems.
  • “It is also important that all of the tires are at the proper pressure to insure that the truck stays even when dumping a load.
  • “Be sure that all dump body supports are in place when the truck is being inspected with the body up.
  • “If any safety issue is found the truck or machine should be removed from the jobsite and repaired immediately.

“Dump trucks often work on the edge of large piles of loose material, know the work area conditions.

  • Be sure to increase the stability of the dump area. Prepare the ground where the unloading will take place to insure the area is stable enough to handle the weight of the truck.
  • Install some type of berm in common dump areas to act as a marker for the dump truck operator. The berm can consist of a raised pile of rocks or a concrete parking berm if available.
  • If you are working on a pile, always keep in mind that the edges of the pile are usually made of loosely placed material and is subject to a landslide if weight is applied.
  • If work is taking place at night, be sure there is plenty of light and there is good communication with the ground crew.

“Construction sites can be a very safe place to work as long as everybody follows simple safety rules and guidelines. Many of the reported accidents were caused by inadequate safety procedures and misuse of equipment. Always stay alert to what is going on around you when on the jobsite and follow all safety guidelines that are put in place to keep your job safe.