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Construction Accidents and Backhoes: Taking Care of Yourself and Others

By Matthew Golitko on November 22, 2014

Heavy equipment in actionWhen operating any kind of equipment at a construction site, safety is essential. Whenever injuries occur that could have been avoided, it's important that you contact the offices of Golitko & Daly in Indianapolis and Kokomo. We have years of experience with lawsuits involving construction accidents, and will fight diligently for you every step of the way.

Backhoes and Construction Accidents

While other pieces of machinery are more commonly associated with construction accidents, backhoes are also a major risk for accidents. A backhoe is a piece of equipment that includes a digging bucket on the end, which operates like a shovel to move materials like rock or dirt around a construction site. While being a huge relief to the manual workload of construction workers, backhoes present a degree of risk to workers.

Common Injuries Related to Backhoe Accidents

The most common form of injury due to backhoes involves a worker being struck by the digging bucket. Considering how large this piece of machinery is, this can cause serious injury to a construction worker, breaking bones and leading to major disfigurement as well.

The possibility of rollover accidents, running over a coworker, and the backhoe falling off a ledge or into a ditch is also likely in some instances.

Tips for Backhoe Safety

If you are operating a backhoe, here are a few tips to ensure the general safety of everyone working on your construction site:

  • Ensure there is nobody in the general area prior to starting your operation. Also ensure that nothing is obstructing your work area, as a collision with construction materials may also present a high level of risk to you and those around you.
  • A backhoe is typically designed for one person. If you are operating a backhoe, do not invite any passengers to ride with you during operation.
  • Be aware of any utility lines, ditches, stumps, or any other potential obstructions in the work area prior to arriving on site.
  • Prior to operating your machine, conduct a pre-shift backhoe inspection. If your backhoe fails your inspection, notify your supervisor and tag the machine to let others know not to use it that day.
  • While operating, slow and steady movements while lifting materials are your best bet to ensure the safety of you and everyone on your site.
  • Though it may be a small detail, ensuring that your seatbelt is secure prior to operating and testing the brakes are additional precautions you should take before beginning your job.

Be Sure to Note Weight Limits and Capacities

While the overall size of the machine is substantial, a backhoe is only designed to lift a certain amount of material at a time. To ensure the overall stability of your backhoe while operating it, keep the weight as close to the machine as possible.

Only Trained Professionals Should Use Heavy Equipment

Above anything, please keep in mind: backhoes should be used only by trained and authorized construction workers. These machines, when used by inexperienced operators, are the biggest risk to everyone in the construction area.

Learn More About Your Legal Options

For more information about your legal options following a serious accidents at a worksite or industrial space, be sure to contact our construction accident and worker injury law firm today. Our entire team will help you receive just compensation following major injuries that lead to hardship, disfigurement, or lasting disability.

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