Aside from long haul transport services, the earthmoving sector is also known to be Australia’s haven for professional owner-operators. Think of backhoe loaders for excavation, road paving, landscaping, and transportation of heavy materials. These “mean machines” have always been making things possible for many Aussies to enjoy new residential building construction, state of the art commercial complexes, and other establishments essential for the economy to operate. Whilst many of these professional operators have backhoe owner- operator income protection insurance as a safety net, accident prevention must always be considered top priority in a worksite.
So, what particular causes are known to result in injuries, permanent disability or worse, fatality in various worksites involving backhoe loaders? What possible actions can be done to ensure safety?
Lack of Training. Backhoe loaders require not just driving but also certain techniques in maneuvering, loading and unloading, and so on. With such high demand in the earthmoving industry and the drive for cutting costs, many companies tend to contract operators who are inadequately trained or with little or no experience in handling such machinery. Driving a backhoe requires proper training with certification on safety focusing on certain aspects like handling of different situations. The key is for companies to roll out good training programmes. If there’s none, driver-operators must always seek ways to be trained on how to handle different ground situations, inclement weather conditions, and other relevant aspects on safety.
Strict Adherence to Rules. Many experienced backhoe owner-operators tend to take shortcuts. With their vast experience, some of them look for ways they believe will make matters more convenient and less rigorous. These aspects, however, can often lead to disastrous results. In the same light, companies may also have the tendency to be complacent in their implementation of workplace safety. To correct this, stringent compliance measures must be carried out with contract owner-operators and penalties sanctioned for wrongdoings even without any incident to ensure strict compliance.
Lack of or Zero Preventive Maintenance. A common mistake among many heavy machinery owner-operators is the lack, if not zero, preventive maintenance. Backhoe operators tend to forget that their vehicle is virtually exposed to grueling tasks day in and day out. Poor maintenance or lack thereof only makes it as dangerous as having an untrained operator behind the wheel. The key is to put in place a regular preventive maintenance routine to identify problems and immediately address them while they’re still manageable. It can save lives and costs, too!
Even with a reliable backhoe owner-operator income protection insurance policy, it is recommended that preventative action if seriously considered. Risks are common in the heavy equipment and transport industries. It is with your while to brush up on your skill set and update yourself with new training and safety management systems nowadays. Always engage in regular preventive maintenance and strictly follow implemented rules and guidelines regarding worksite safety. With these in place, injuries and fatalities can be minimized or prevented in whichever worksite you are in. At the end of the day, the life you save may be your own.
Remember that it is important to have a dependable backhoe owner-operator income protection insurance policy in place. Call us or send an email request to learn more.