It’s no secret that construction work is not the safest job in the world. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t take the right steps to ensure that everyone on the site is safe. When it comes to working with heavy equipment, the operators are faced with many challenges. They have to learn how the equipment works, what’s the best way to use it, detect signs of failure, and most importantly, communicate with their team in extremely loud circumstances.
Knowing that communication is an integral part of their operations, construction businesses ensure that all heavy equipment operators are well-trained and can adapt to the various challenges that can occur while on the construction site. Below we will share how the most effective leaders communicate with their heavy equipment operators so that you can implement the same strategies and ensure your operations are as safe as possible.
Train Your Employees For Proper Heavy Equipment Use
Before training your employees to communicate onsite effectively, you need to understand the importance of operating heavy equipment effectively. This type of equipment can produce a lot of noise and threaten its operator’s well-being. If the operator is exposed to sounds above 100db, they can suffer consequences in the form of hearing loss. Relay to your employees that the use of earbuds and noise-canceling equipment is essential if they want to keep their health in check while on the job.
With the use of noise-canceling equipment, the risk of sustaining hearing loss becomes minimal. However, another problem gets added to the equation. If your employees cannot respond to requests and warnings instantly, it can lead to serious problems.
This is why you need to find the best methods of communication for all team members, especially heavy equipment operators.
Use Hand Signals
Using hand signals or other visual cues is a great way to communicate without even having to speak. Visual cues are great for a variety of reasons. They can help reduce misunderstandings and miscommunications by providing clear messages. In addition, they can be used in areas with a lot of background noise where it’s difficult to hear spoken words and can even be used as a primary communication tool if two people don’t speak the same language.
To put things into perspective, crane operators require feedback at all times. This is why construction sites deploy a spotter to feed the crane operator’s info in regard to the next step of the operation. They can warn the operator to stop when there are vehicles in the operator’s blindspot and tell them to continue with their work whenever the site is clear.
For communication, spotters and operators rely on hand signals, as radio communication can be very difficult due to the loudness of the machines. This is why all of your construction team members should know how to use crane hand signals and be able to work as a team to ensure productivity and safety on the site.
With hand singles, you can protect your employees from the danger of being exposed to loud noises as they will not crack the volumes of their radio device all the way up.
Using technology can make your life easier, but it’s also important to use it responsibly. Technology can help us with communication drastically, but as mentioned above, you and your employees must be extremely careful to avoid any problems that might stem from exposure to loud noise.
That being said, utilizing technology wisely will allow us to work smarter and get more done with less time and effort. And on top of that, your team will be more organized and work in sync, ensuring that all safety protocols are diligently followed.
Operating heavy machinery is a very difficult task as the operator must deeply understand how the equipment works and employ the right practices to ensure safety and productivity.
Above we outlined some of the best methods you can relay to your employees so that they communicate effectively and work in sync. Don’t forget that even if technology can help you, you should inform your employees that cranking up the volume really high, for instance, anything above 85db, can lead to hearing loss issues.