Operating heavy equipment is an inherently dangerous activity. However, matters become even more perilous when rain starts to fall. From impaired visibility to low-traction surfaces, the risks of operating heavy equipment can become exacerbated. However, completely halting operations whenever the forecast isn’t perfectly sunny isn’t realistic for most businesses. As such, it is important to find ways to continue production while minimizing the safety risks rain presents. Below, we will highlight some of the most impactful safety tips for operating heavy equipment in the rain.
Move Slowly and Cautiously
One of the most important safety tips for operating heavy equipment in the rain is to move slowly and deliberately. Because traction and visibility are often limited when it rains, it’s essential to take your time and move more slowly. Attempting to drive too quickly may cause you to skid out of control or make a costly mistake. When operating such large machinery, even a minimal loss of control can have detrimental consequences. As such it is important to exercise increased caution when operating heavy equipment in the rain.
Use Tracks With Ample Traction
Unlike tires, rubber tracks provide optimal weight distribution which helps prevent them from digging in and getting stuck in soft, muddy surfaces. As such, it is always best to opt for tracks over tires when you’re working in heavy rain.
For optimal safety, you should ensure your equipment’s tracks have ample traction. Doing so will help prevent the machine from sliding or slipping during operation which can result in a dangerous accident. Various factors that impact the traction of your machinery’s tracks include their pattern, their rubber compound, and their construction.
Wear Proper Gear
The clothing you wear can have a large impact on your safety. To reduce your chances of slipping on wet, slippery surfaces, make sure to wear proper footwear with heavy treads. In addition, you should also wear non-slip gloves so you can properly grip the machinery’s controls if they get wet.
On colder days, put on heavy, water-resistant coats, hats, and gloves to stay warm as the wet conditions will increase your chances of frostbite or hypothermia. Such cold-weather risks aren’t merely present in freezing temperatures, they can also occur when outdoor temperatures are as high as 50 degrees Fahrenheit when it’s windy and rainy.
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