Skid steers are popular pieces of machinery in the agriculture industry and elsewhere. As compact as these machines are, drivers still need proper training and a solid understanding of safety precautions to avoid accidents. Here’s what you need to know about avoiding and correcting skid steer rollovers in Texas.
Common types of skid steer accidents
No matter how experienced or careful you are as a skid steer operator, accidents with or without injury will always be a very real possibility. For a better understanding of the risks these machines pose, let’s run through the most common types of skid steer-related accidents:
- Tip-overs: A skid steer carrying an unbalanced load has a greater chance of tipping over forward or backward. It can even tip over sideways if being operated on a slope.
- Runovers: The skid steer operator or someone nearby can get run over by this piece of machinery. The most common runover accident involves coworkers or bystanders that are in the path of a skid steer with an inattentive driver behind the controls. It’s also not unheard of for the vehicle operator to be thrown out of the cab and into the path of their own skid steer. Be sure your vehicle has the proper safety devices in place and a fully enclosed cab.
- Rollovers: This is just what it sounds like—either the entire vehicle loses control and rolls over, pinning the driver inside or underneath, or a passerby ends up in the path of the rollover incident.
- Crushes: One of the most reported skid steer accidents is someone being crushed by moving parts, such as the wheels or an attachment. If the load on a skid steer falls on someone, they’ll either be trapped or crushed.
Operator safety tips
Practice skid steer safety measures and safe workspace habits to keep everyone on the job site safe. Here’s what skid steer drivers should do:
- Do your homework: Preventing accidents with skid steer loaders starts with learning all you can about them. Read and follow directions in your equipment manual, pay attention to safety instructions and don’t ignore warning labels on the vehicle. If you don’t understand something, reach out to your supervisor right away.
- Focus on working safely: Never take shortcuts—especially when operating heavy machinery. Skid steer accidents can cause permanent injury, death or property damage, so do not take unnecessary risks on the job.
- Extra precautions: Refrain from operating a skid steer if you are on certain medications (consult your doctor or pharmacist for clarification), are tired or have taken drugs or consumed alcohol.
How to avoid rollovers
The majority of skid steer rollovers in Texas can be prevented by paying attention to safety. As the driver, make sure your machine has the right safety equipment installed: interlocking controls, falling object protective structures (FOPS), safety bars, seat belts, grab bars, steps, alarms and rollover protection structures (ROPS). Don’t speed, and communicate your movements to those nearby.
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This post was written by Writer