Training is critical to ensure the safe operation of equipment, but safety features on the equipment itself can also help mitigate accidents.
Caterpillar believes a big factor is visibility, or the ability of the operator to have unobstructed views all around the machine.
“Visibility is key to assisting in the prevention of interactions between the machine and a pedestrian or employee,” says John Janes, Caterpillar industry marketing representative, building construction products division. “Visibility enhancements on Cat skid-steers include backup cameras and increased visibility through the sides and front. Cat compact wheel loaders additionally have increased visibility.”
Also, Cat machines with ride control reduce the amount of spillage when carrying loads.
While it might seem like common sense, Kubota emphasizes that users go over their operator’s manual, which is available for each piece of Kubota equipment.
“It explains specifications, controls and best practices for safe operation,” says Jeff Jacobsmeyer, Kubota product manager for excavators. “Machine operation and movement only happens on the excavators after the lock levers are in the proper work position. The seat belt and operator’s protective structure keep one safe when used correctly in a tip-over situation. Lift and load charts are posted in easy view of the operator on excavators as a quick reference to avoid an overload situation.”
The key things to remember, says Jacobsmeyer, are:
- Read and follow the provided operator’s manual information.
- Be aware of your surroundings (know your job site).
- Do not exceed machine capacities.
As far as compact track loaders and skid-steers go, Kubota’s SSV-Series feature a number of safety features. ” For example, standard on all Kubota SSV models is a unique, slide-up, front-entry door that rises overhead instead of swinging out,” says Jorge De Hoyos, Kubota senior product manager for compact track loaders and skid-steers. “This design allows the door to be opened regardless of loader position so that the operator can enter and exit the machine even when the skid-steer is in a tight or difficult position.”