Quick Tips for Motor Grader Safety at the Job Site

Quick Tips for Motor Grader Safety at the Job Site

As with any heavy equipment, motor graders pose some serious dangers to operators and people working near them. Graders are especially dangerous because of their blade, but all moving machines put workers at risk of struck-by hazards and caught-in/caught-between hazards.

In addition, unsafe and improper use can lead to excessive wear or damage to the grader. This in turn can lead to lower productivity, equipment downtime, and increased maintenance costs.

While all construction environments and ground conditions are unique, following these general tips for motor grader safety help protect everyone at the site.

Motor Grader Safety Tips

  • All operators should be trained to safely and properly use the grader, and they should be familiar with (and have access to) the instruction manual
  • Never use a motor grader with damaged components, malfunctioning controls or safety features, or other problems
  • Know the ground conditions in the area you’re working and traveling across, and the capabilities of the machine
  • Have a communication system in place between the operator and ground crew
  • Use a three-point approach whenever entering or exiting the heavy equipment
  • Adjust the seat for comfortable operations and buckle your safety belt
  • Make sure the floors, controls, and your hands are dry and free of anything that can cause slips
  • Keep all windows clean and clear of dust, dirt, and other debris that can limit visibility
  • Stay alert to all surroundings while operating a grader
  • Watch out for overhead wires and other potential overhead hazards, as well as hazards in your path
  • Maintain a safe, slow speed, especially around foot traffic and busy areas of the construction site
  • Keep the motor grader in gear and at a safe speed when going down a hill or grade
  • Work at reduced speed on grades and rough terrain
  • Avoid turning on a slope
  • Never drive along a ditch or excavation
  • Yield the right-of-way to loaded heavy equipment and vehicles
  • Check and double check behind you before backing up
  • Mark each end of the moldboard with a colored flag while grading
  • Use flashing safety lights while grading
  • If the blade is carried or engaged at a sharp angle, be careful of puncturing the tire when articulating
  • Park the motor grader on a level surface whenever possible and engage the hand brake; securely block the wheels when parking on a sloped surface
  • Center and lock the blade when parking the machine
  • Ground the blade whenever you leave the grader unattended
  • Graders are single-person machines; nobody should ever ride along inside or on it
  • Nobody should ever work beneath a raised blade
  • Don’t wear loose clothing, as it’s a hazard around machines with moving parts
  • Have all motor grader maintenance and repairs performed by qualified professionals

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