Preventing Equipment Damage

The goal of operating safely is firstly to protect LIFE and secondary is protecting PROPERTY. The construction industry can not only be hazardous to workers, but equipment damage incidents can be frequent & costly. 

When there is equipment damage not only is there an associated cost, but there is also the chance for injury for the operators or ground personnel in the area. 

Common Examples of Heavy Equipment Damage

  • Broken windshields/windows
  • Damaged Tires
  • Damaged hoses/lines
  • Damaged tailgates
  • Dings/dents

Causes of Equipment Damage

There is a multitude of ways and reasons why heavy equipment is damaged on a construction site. While wear and tear is normal over time, many of the mentioned types of incidents above are fully preventable. 

Consider the best practices below to prevent damage to heavy equipment at your worksite. 

  1. Operate heavy equipment within its design limits. 
    • Pushing the equipment past its limits or operating in an unsafe manner leaves you at risk for injury or damage.
  2. Proper Training
    • If you are not trained for a specific piece of equipment or do not feel comfortable with a task; stop work and talk to a supervisor.  
  3. Complete Tasks in a timely matter.
    • Many Incidents occur when trying to complete a task quickly and outside of normal operations or during an emergency. Taking the few extra minutes to reevaluate a work task or to inspect the equipment can make the difference in an incident occurring or not. 
  4. Second Opinions
    • For example, an articulating dump truck gets stuck in a dump area without a spotter and damages the lift mechanism of the bed rendering it inoperable. The operator should have stopped work to notify a supervisor of the situation. Getting a second opinion on how to correct the situation or having a spotter there could have prevented the equipment damage to the bed.
  5. Get the right personnel involved
    • Similar to the situation above, anytime there is an issue with a task or the equipment itself, stop work and get the right personnel involved. The more eyes and help in any situation can prevent damage & injury to most importantly yourself and to the equipment being used. 

Summary: Think about the equipment damage events you have experienced on this job or on past jobs.

  • What was similar about each incident? 
  • What could have been done differently to prevent it? 
  • What situations may arise here that could result in damage to heavy equipment?