Have you (or someone you know) ever been injured while working with a skid steer loader?
Skid steer loaders are used for material handling and excavating. Workers who operate or work near this equipment are at risk for injuries from falling off or being struck by the equipment.
Ron and two coworkers were removing a fence (with stakes) that surrounded a housing development drainage pond. A Skid Steer loader was being used to pull up the stakes, because overgrowth made it difficult to remove them by hand. As the operator was raising the lift arms to pull the third stake, the loader tipped forward. To stabilize the machine, the operator lowered the bucket. Just then, Ron (who had been standing in front and to the side of the loader) slipped and fell beneath the bucket. It struck him in the chest, and he died shortly after from traumatic chest injuries.
How could this incident have been avoided?
Remember use and maintain the safety devices provided by the manufacturer, such as the following:
- Interlocked controls
- Backup alarms
- Seat belts and Roll Over Protective Systems (ROPS)
- Operate the loader from the operator’s compartment, never from the outside.
- Stay seated when operating the loader controls.
- Work with the seat belt fastened and the restraint bar in place.
- Keep your arms, legs, and head inside the cab while operating the loader.
- Load, unload, and turn on level ground when possible.
- Operate on stable surfaces only.
- Never go over the manufacturer’s recommended load capacity for the machine.
Keep other workers clear from the work area when lifting a load.
Let’s be safe out there!