The skid steer is one of the most valuable pieces of machinery in your fleet because of its nearly limitless versatility. Because of its size and design, the skid steer can be used in several different environments where larger pieces of equipment could not fit. Used for construction, demolition, mining, landscaping, road maintenance, and more, when you know how to properly use this machine, it will benefit you, your crew, and business in more ways than one. Consider a few of these Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety practices in order to use your skid steer to its fullest potential while keeping all of your equipment and personal safe.
- Read, understand, and have the operator’s manual on hand. Following the instructions for you specific skid steer including load limitations and operation procedures can help keep your team safe and equipment running efficiently for longer, saving you resources.
- When operating your skid steer, be seated properly inside with the seat belt and seat bar (if available) in place. Keep your arms, legs, hands, and head inside the cabin while operating the machine, and never try and steer or use the controls from outside of the operator’s seat.
- Anyone operating the skid steer or in the vicinity of a skid steer in use should wear the proper safety attire including hard hat, steel toed shoes, long pants, and utility gloves.
- When not in operation, the bucket or currently used attachment should be lowered level to the ground. This can help avoid injury or damage to other pieces of equipment or crew members while the skid steer is not being used. If your skid steer is equipped with control locks, always put them in place when it is not being used.
- Only allow as many people in the operator’s cabin as is intended by the design.
- Do not carry riders in the bucket or any other attachment of your skid steer. Only designated seats that are intended for riders/operators should be utilized for transportation of any kind.
- Only properly trained personnel should ever operate a skid steer, and only trained professionals should perform any maintenance or repairs. The manufacturer instructions or handbook should be used closely for anyone operating or working on your skid steer.
- As is typical for any job site, keep any untrained or unauthorized personnel or bystanders away from the area, especially while equipment is in use. This not only protects the safety of others, but this helps keep your business safe from being liable for accidental injuries.
- Keep your skid steer regularly inspected and in proper working condition. Never make any adjustments or alterations to your equipment outside the permitted realm of what is recommended by the manufacturer. Allow a trained professional to perform any maintenance to ensure that all safety functions are in full working order.
Following these precautions along with any additional recommendations by the manufacturer can help you avoid damaging your equipment or job site, tipping due to overloading, entrapment, injury, and hurting you or any contractor in Austin TX.