Safely Using Mobile Plant for Waste Operations

No waste and recycling site can run safely and effectively without a robust management system which includes the correct use of equipment. Here we provide a brief insight into simple steps that onsite management can enforce to promote safe operation of equipment onsite:

Pre-Operational Checks
The operator should be competent to carry out a detailed inspection of the equipment, beginning with isolating the equipment before conducting checks such as damages, fluid levels, under carriage of the machine, wheels/tyres/tracks, attachments etc. before moving inside the cab and checking the seat, levers, switches.

A key piece of mobile plant equipment used across all waste sites are material re -handlers. This machine can work with a number of different attachments such as a grapple, compactor, bucket or a magnet and can become complex in their use. There are 3 types of quick htiches typically used with an excavator - A manual system, a semi-automatic system and an automatic system.

Safe Operation on Site
If you are operating the equipment, you must always have a clear line of vision with adequate room for the equipment to work, however sometimes the equipment will have to work in an area with limited operational room whilst still being used to its full potential; visual aids e.g. camera and mirrors can aid all round vision if the view is obscured. Site risk assessments and Safe Systems of Work will determine what aids are sufficient and possibly employing the services of a trained banksman.

Machine Shutdown
Any defects must be reported to management following the operator’s final walk round checks. When parking, ensure the equipment is parked so that the first movement can be forwards; do not park where it creates a hazard such as doorways, access point or in front of safety equipment. When exiting your cab, ensure access steps are undamaged and accessible allowing 3-points of contact for a safe exit to be maintained at all times.

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