Transporting materials is a necessary part of every construction project. However, it’s also one of the most dangerous aspects of the job. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), almost 20% of all fatal workplace accidents in the construction industry are due to transportation-related incidents.
That’s why it’s so important for construction businesses to have a solid safety plan in place for when they’re transporting materials. Many construction companies hire a professional transportation company to handle their material transport needs. However, if you’re transporting materials yourself, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Here are some safety tips to help you get started.
1. Make sure your vehicles are in good working order.
Before you even load up your trucks with materials, you must ensure they’re in good working order. This means regularly inspecting your vehicles and taking care of any maintenance or repairs that need to be done. Even a small problem can quickly turn into a big one with construction materials. So don’t take any chances – ensure your trucks are in tip-top shape before hitting the road.
Look for things like balding tires, damaged brakes, and leaking fluids. If you’re not sure how to properly inspect your vehicles, hire a professional mechanic to do it for you. They can help you identify potential problems and fix them before they cause an accident. Ask how often you should inspect your vehicles to ensure they’re always in good condition.
2. Work with a lawyer.
You should also consult with a lawyer before you start transporting materials. They can help you understand the legalities involved in transport and ensure you take all the necessary precautions. They can also help you create a contract with your drivers that outlines their responsibilities and what to do in case of an accident.
You also want to work with a car accident lawyer to understand your rights and responsibilities if one of your drivers is involved in an accident. This way, you can be sure you’re taking all the necessary steps to protect your business. Let them know about your transportation plans and ask for their advice on how to best stay safe.
3. Train your drivers
Before you let anyone drive one of your company trucks, they must be adequately trained. This training should include both classroom instruction and on-the-road experience. Your drivers should know how to operate the vehicles, load and unload materials safely, and operate the equipment. They should also know the local traffic laws and be familiar with the route they’ll be taking.
If you’re not providing the training, be sure to hire a reputable company specializing in construction vehicle training. Ask for references and check them out before making a decision. Ensure your drivers are appropriately trained and licensed before getting behind the wheel.
4. Load and unload materials carefully.
Loading and unloading heavy materials is always a risky proposition. That’s why it’s essential to take your time and do it carefully. Use proper lifting techniques, and never try to lift something yourself – always enlist the help of at least one other person. In addition, use caution when moving materials around corners or tight spaces – it’s easy to lose control of your load and cause an accident.
When in doubt, always err on the side of caution. Better to take your time and do it safely than to rush and risk an accident. You can always hire professional movers to help you with the heavy lifting if you’re uncomfortable doing it yourself. This is an excellent idea if you have large or delicate items that need to be moved.
5. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Transporting materials isn’t just about getting from point A to point B – it’s also about being aware of your surroundings and being prepared for anything that might happen. That means knowing your route and keeping an eye out for potential hazards, such as pedestrians or animals that could jump out in front of your vehicle. It also means being aware of inclement weather conditions, such as high winds or ice on the road, that could impact your drive.
Many accidents happen because drivers aren’t paying attention to their surroundings. So, it’s essential to stay alert and prepare for anything. Always keep your eyes on the road and be ready to react if something unexpected occurs.
Transporting materials is an essential part of every construction project, but it’s also one of the most dangerous aspects of the job. Following these safety tips can help ensure your business stays safe when transporting materials from one job site to another. With a bit of planning and preparation, you can avoid accidents and keep your business running smoothly.