Heavy equipment designed to handle large loads can be dangerous if not operated properly. Operators need to remain alert and know how to properly use the equipment, while bystanders should be aware of their surroundings. 


  • Only operate the equipment if you’ve been trained 
  • Check the brakes and other controls prior to starting the engine 
  • Look behind and around the equipment before beginning work 
  • Wear your safety belt at all times 
  • Check your blind spots 
  • Always wear the necessary personal protective equipment and high visibility clothing 
  • Avoid backing up heavy machinery unless it’s absolutely necessary 
  • Use a spotter when heavy equipment is in motion 
  • Lower the bucket, shovel or dipper when parking the machine 
  • Slowly exit the vehicle using the handrails and steps 
  • Remember to put the transmission in park, turn off the motor, engage the brakes and complete any other shutdown procedures before repairing the equipment 


  • Be aware of equipment moving around you 
  • Do not walk under loads on cranes or hoists 
  • Do not assume an equipment operator knows you’re there; if you can’t see the operator, the operator can’t see you 
  • Never ride on equipment 
  • Alert the equipment operator if you are working in the same area