In the heavy equipment industry, safety is the top factor when at a work site. There are many ways to keep workers safe, but often operators use and rely on spotters to help navigate the work and keep an eagle’s eye on the placement of people and machine.
What is a spotter?
When it comes to safety, a spotter should pop in the minds of a veteran heavy equipment operator. This person has to watch out for others as well as for himself plus make sure the heavy equipment doesn’t damage property. There is danger involved and clear communication is required between the operator and the spotter.
When is a spotter needed?
Spotters may be necessary around heavy equipment when:
- In busy areas or when traffic is present.
- A driver or operator does not have a full view of the intended path of travel.
- Backing up with limited visibility or space.
- Maneuvering or backing up trailers.
- Maneuvering around with limited space.
- Lifting or moving materials with heavy equipment.
- Maneuvering into or inside buildings or other structures.
- Passing under or near overhead power lines.
- When physical hazards are on premise.
Communication is key to spotter and heavy equipment operator relationship.
- Spotters need to watch where they are walking or positioned and make sure they are visible to the operator.
- Operators also need to be able to understand hand signals.
- Operators should let spotters know if they cannot see them for any reason.
- Operator must first stop the vehicle and let the spotter know if there is something obstructing his or her view.
Safety is important in the heavy equipment industry. A good heavy equipment training school will not only teach you about how to operate heavy equipment but how to keep yourself and others around you safe.