Choosing Plant Hire – Safety Checks to First Consider
Choosing plant hire is an important issue when considering the next steps of a project. Whether it is a demolition and refurbishment project or a construction project from foundation up, there are a few safety checks you have to consider that will shape the type of equipment you need to hire.
The Surface You Are Working With – each piece of equipment is different, with many different types of adjustments and features to suit different projects. One of the first things you should consider before hiring an excavator or plant equipment is the condition of the ground you will be working on. A vehicle will have particular load and stability limit and different equipment will be suited for smooth ground and those for uneven or rocky ground. Figure out the safety requirements based on the ground you will be working on and your plant hire company of choice will be able to use their specialist experience to advise you on the right type of equipment you use.
Consider the Visibility of Task – The driver of the hire equipment has to have a good level of visibility to ensure they are safe throughout the task (and also efficient and productive). Depending on the risk assessment of the project as a whole and the task specifically you may be required to choose equipment hire that includes machinery with certain added elements. So for instance, it might be essential to add convex mirrors or CCTV to larger vehicles that have significant blind spots for the driver to overcome.
Braking Conditions – Linked to the condition of the ground in many ways, the braking conditions are an important aspect of the safety assessment when considering which type of equipment to hire for a project. Effective braking systems should include an overrun brake when a trailer has a maximum gross weight between 0.75t and 3.5t, and trailers over 3.5t should have a braking system that takes into consideration a towing unit. Parking brakes are required to ensure safety even when machinery is stationery. Wheel clocks are a great option when machinery is parked on a slope and all round ensure a choice is made to hire plant equipment that will be safe in use, and when out of use and parked.
Overturning Protection – Anywhere with sloping ground it is imperative to consider the need to protect against overturning. Roll-over protective structures (ROPS) can be fitted to dumpers and other plant hire equipment where this is a safety consideration. In other scenarios, especially where there is a risk of falling materials i.e. demolition work with excavators, FOPS (Falling Object Protective Structures) should be fitted to the equipment.
When choosing plant hire equipment, such as excavators for hire, it is important to first have a safety assessment plan in place relating to the project you are working on and specific tasks that the equipment will be used to complete. Choosing a good plant hire company will help you put together a plan to fit the specific safety measures you need for your project.