6 Steps for Climbing Up & Down Construction Equipment

If you run a construction company, it is a good idea to hold meetings every month where you review safety protocol. It can be easy to get sloppy with safety after you have been in the job or field for years, which is why safety meetings are so essential to ensuring that your worksite remains and accident free location.

Workplace accidents caused by relaxed work environment will raise your insurance costs and thus your overall business costs. Here are the six steps you need to go over with your employees about climbing up and down off of large construction equipment during your meeting.

#1 Only Climb on Equipment in the Right Gear

When getting on and off large construction equipment, you should only do so when you are wearing the appropriate clothing. You should have on work gloves so that you can properly grip the machine. You should be wearing a reflective work vest and hard hat so that others can see you. Finally, you should be wearing work boots to ensure you have the prop grip for climbing on equipment. If you are in street clothing or don't have your vest and hard hat on, you shouldn't climb or operate any equipment. 

#2 Use the Three-Point Stance

As you climb up and down the equipment, you need to use the three-point stance. The three pint stance means that at least three of your limbs should always be in contact with at least three different areas of the equipment that you ascending or descending from. For example, each of your hands could be on a handle and one foot on a step; that would meet the three-point stance requirements. 

The three-point stance helps ensure that your weight is distributed equally. It also helps ensure that should one of your limbs slip, you would be able to regain your footing or hand grip quickly. Your fourth limb is in motion, moving up or down the equipment. 

#3 Each Stance Should Be Secure

Your hands and feet should be located somewhere that is secure; they should not be located in a tiny foothold and you shouldn't be holding on with just your fingertips. 

You should also always put your entire foot on a step; don't rush past one in a hurry to ascend the equipment. Always have your entire hand have a good grip. Your three-point stance should always be secure.

#4 Use a Stepladder

If for some reason their is not steps for you to climb, or you can't easily access the lowest steps on the machine that you are going on, use a step ladder for assistance. Remember that their is no shame in using assistance to climb on large equipment. This is a good way to make sure that you are safely scaling equipment. Make sure that all employs know where to access a step ladder. 

#5 Don't Carry Objects

Remind your employees that they should never carry objects with them as they climb up or down a large piece of equipment. That object will prevent them from maintaining a three-point stance. Additionally, if they drop whatever they were carrying, they could injure themselves or the equipment. If anything needs transported to or from the equipment, it should be handed to someone who is firmly established on the ground or up to someone already secure on the equipment.

#6 Don't Overstretch

Although it is important to maintain a three-point stance, you should never over-stretch in an attempt to grab onto a far away handrail or foot hold just for the purpose of maintaining your stance. Over stretching could cause you to fall and injure yourself.

Be sure to go over the six points above with your employees. Then have your employees specifically discuss the best way to ascend and descent the equipment that you have on your current job site. This refresher can help even your seasoned workers remember to always keep safety at the forefront of their mind when on the job site.