Articulating dump trucks or just regular dump trucks are found on almost every single construction site and many other kinds of work sites. While the task of getting loaded, hauling material, dumping the material, and repeating sounds simple, there are a lot of associate hazards with the operation of this equipment. It is important not to be complacent as the operator of this equipment or as the ground personnel working around this equipment.
Injuries and Incidents Associated with Dump Truck Operation
Back over incidents of people or other equipment. OSHA states that dump trucks followed by semi-trucks and ordinary pickups are responsible for the majority of back over incidents in the past 10 years on the job.Tip over of entire truck or the bed of an articulating dump truck. Tip overs can cause serious injury to both the operator or ground personnel.Property damage incidents. Due to the sizes of these trucks and lack of room of some job sites, there is a lot of money lost due to property damage incidents.Contact with electrical lines.Slips, trips, and falls. Climbing on and off of the equipment multiple times a day puts an operator at risk for falling while getting in and out of the cab.
Best Practices When Operating and Working Around Dump Trucks
Avoid backing up whenever possible. Many incidents result from unnecessary backing up. Set up work areas so that operators are able to pull through instead of backing. Use a spotter when it is necessary and safe to do so. Spotters need to stay out of blind spots as well as away from the truck in case of tip over.Always dump on flat even ground. After the load is dumped pull up just enough to clear the load and put the bed down before driving off. Leaving the bed up while driving can result in contact with electrical lines as well as tip over.Always inspect your truck thoroughly before the start of the shift.Always wear your seatbelt.
Complete inspections of work areas to look for any hazards that can create conditions unsafe conditions for operation.Complete a walk around of your truck any time before you get back into the cab. Check around the truck to ensure no person, vehicles, or materials are in your blind spots.
Human Performance Considerations
It is very easy to become complacent when operating this equipment. Maintain focus while in operation of a dump truck. Stop work if you do not feel trained or comfortable with the task at hand. Not all haul roads and tasks are created equal when it comes to operating dump trucks. Take breaks when needed and get out to stretch if fatigue or boredom sets in. The consequences of not paying attention behind the wheel are serious.