Summary Statement

A handout describing steps that equipment operators should take in a workzone to assure the safety of others. Part of a collection. Click on the 'collection' button to access the other items.

This document is one in a program produced under an OSHA grant by a consortium of the Laborers' Health and Safety Fund N.A, the International Union of Operating Engineers, the American Road and Transportation Builders Assn, and the National Asphalt Pavement Assn. All of the documents from this set that are on eLCOSH can be found by clicking on Job Site, Heavy construction, and scrolling to the Street & highway heading. Or to download a complete version of the computerized program, go to

How Can Operators Stay Safe?
Unload, operate equipment only if qualified.

Equipment operation

  • Before starting equipment, do a walk around inspection
  • Test back up alarm, other safety devices
  • Locate and test all controls
  • Know equipment blind spots, swing radius
  • Use equipment seatbelts
Entering and exiting equipment
  • Use 3 points of contact to prevent falls
  • Look for other moving equipment, vehicles
  • Wipe up all grease and fluids on equipment walking/working surfaces

General safety What Are Other Safety Measures?
Stay alert and aware of the hazards.

Equipment maintenance/repair
  • Report all repair needs to your supervisor
  • Always lock out and tag out equipment that cannot be safely operated
General Safety
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE) supplied/required by your employer
  • Never use cell phones, AM/FM radios, or CD players while operating equipment
  • Safely secure equipment before using employer-provided hand-held cell phones or walkie-talkies
  • Secure unattended equipment
  • Lock-out, tag-out before maintenance, set parking brake, chock wheels, block dump truck bed

How Can We Be Safe in the Work Zone?
The operator has special responsibilities.

Know the job
  • Know the work zone and your position in it
  • Know the internal traffic control plan
  • Use designated equipment routes and areas
  • Identify rollover hazards such as unleveled areas, embankments, unstable soil
  • If you must move cones or barricades, return them to the original positions as soon as possible

How Can We Protect Other Workers?
Always keep other workers in mind.

On the worksite
  • Know the locations of other workers around you at all times
  • Set up a means of communication with workers around you such as flaggers, grade checkers
  • Never allow other workers to ride on equipment
  • Where possible, provide barriers between workers and equipment
  • Avoid excessive speeds and dangers caused by hills, obstacles, curves