Compact Equipment Safety

Compact Equipment such as skid steers, forklifts and others have a variety of uses and are very popular pieces of equipment. Keeping the equipment we work with in a good, reliable condition is an important step in minimizing the risk associated with operating these pieces of equipment. Performing pre-operation inspections is a great way to make sure your equipment stays in good working condition. This is a sample of a pre-operation inspection checklist, a pre-op inspection doesn’t have to be limited to these items:

Before Starting

  • Check for proper levels of engine oil, brake fluid, hydraulic oil etc.
  • Check all appropriate sight glasses.
  • Visually inspect tires for proper inflation, wheels and rims for missing or loose lug nuts and cracks.
  • If there is any abnormal bulging immediately move away and contact maintenance personnel.
  • Visually inspect the underside of the machine for indications of damage and leakage.
  • Make sure the access ladder is free of debris, and in general good condition.
  • Visually check booms, forks etc. for cracks and other wear and tear.
  • Check service sticker and let maintenance personnel know if you are close to needing your machine serviced (usually at 20 hours and again at 10 hours).
  • Allow equipment to warm up 10-15 minutes before operation.

Before Operation

  • Check horn.
  • Operate mast to total height.
  • Check all gauges and indicators for proper reading.
  • Make sure windows and mirrors are clean.
  • Remove or secure trash, tools or any loose objects that could jam a control.
  • Ensure that the area around the machine is clear, and check backup alarm and braking system before operation begins.
  • Complete required inspection reports. Report mechanical problems and safety hazards immediately, and most of all, do not operate an unsafe machine. Proceed with caution and follow all surface haulage safety rules and procedures.

When operating a forklift and handling loads, it’s important to understand the capabilities of the equipment you are operating and know what the capacity of the forklift is. Use extra caution when handling loads that approach the forklift’s capacity. Overloading or failing to properly center loads can unbalance the forklift and can put you at risk of overturning the equipment or damaging your load. Never travel with the load leaning forward, this makes the load less stable. When lifting loads make sure there is adequate overhead clearance before raising the load.

When lifting loads you are at a greater risk of not having enough clearance, your load falling, or having a stuck load.

It is important analyzing the risk associated with this type of equipment, proper planning will help reduce the risk of an injury or a fatality occurring.

It is our hope here at Catamount Consulting that being better prepared and more knowledgeable in what could transpire helps deter and prevent accidents, injuries or tragedies. For additional information on this topic or to view our current training schedule, contact Catamount Consulting at 518-623-2352 or visit .

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