As cities look for ways to improve efficiencies, and reduce sprain and strain injuries associated with manual material handling, a skid-steer is one piece of equipment they often turn to. But as with any equipment operation safety needs to be paramount. And while OSHA does not have a specific standard on skid-steers, employers have received citations for a serious violation under the General Duty Clause of the OSHA Standard (Section 5(a)(1)).
OSHA Citations related to Skid-Steers:
- Improper employee training on the safety features associated with the skid-steer loader
- Disabling of the interlock control system caused it to not function properly.
- Backup alarms did not function properly.
- Seatbelts had been removed from the skid-steer loaders.
- Failure to use an approved lift arm to support device during servicing.
- Not properly maintaining the skid-steer loader according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Employees intentionally bypassing of the safety systems of the skid-steer loader.
Skid-Steer General Safety Practices:
- Always read and understand the operator's manual before using the piece of equipment.
- Always lower the bucket or attachment so that it is flat on the ground.
Getting On/Off Equipment:
§ Use three points of contact when getting in and out of skid steer. If using snow bucket or other large attachments, consider a side step for getting in and out of unit.
By Joe Ingebrand