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OSHA’s Top 5 Heavy Equiment Safety Hazards in Construction

As a heavy equipment operator, you may decide to work on a construction site but the work can be become fast-paced leading to possible accidents and fatalities. Understanding and knowing the top heavy equipment safety hazards should be your top priority if you are an operator on a construction site.

Often, the safety of actual equipment is intertwined with the safety of the construction site itself. It’s hard to separate the two mainly because unsafe equipment equals an unsafe site. And, site hazards can affect the safety of equipment.

Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) says the following are the top six hazards related with construction sites:


This item always makes the top of the list for construction site hazards. Falls from equipment, scaffolding, and other high places are dangerous and very common. All construction sites are required to provide basic precautions and standards.

Stairways and ladders:

This hazard is highly related to the fall category but you can review safety specific to stairways and ladders at OSHA.


This also causes falls and if put together improperly can cause injuries and death. Often, people think about heavy construction equipment safety with respect to equipment that moves but heavy equipment just standing around can be just as dangerous when not used properly.


These safety issues relate to anything powered by electricity or that could be affected negatively by electricity. You may forget but heavy equipment that can shock you, fires, explosions, and electrocution are all hazards at almost any construction site. It is important to follow safety standards religiously. In fact, these are hazards that can actually start off a chain reaction of negative events, which makes electrical safety even more important.

Trenching and excavation:

If this is your job at a construction site, then you can say you have a dangerous position. Excavation alone accounts for 1 percent of all work-related deaths (most jobs don’t even come close to this statistic). Cave-ins, asphyxiation due to lack of oxygen, collapsing walls, electrocution, explosions, deep water drowning, unstable soil, and more all play a part in the high death rate of workers and operators. OSHA has offered information specifically for trenching and excavation safety – and these standards can save your life.

Getting training at a professional heavy equipment school, like Heavy Construction Academy, can also save your life – from understanding basic safety rules and lessons taught in the classroom and out on the field.

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