Skid steer loaders are very common devices that are used to move loose materials and for light excavation. With a multitude of attachments, they are some of the most versatile pieces of equipment today. Used in construction, skid steers are also extensively put to use in industrial applications.
Their track record for adaptability and taking abuse makes them reliable devices for various production needs, especially where facilities are larger or loose bulk material is used in the manufacturing processes.
Skid Steer OSHA Training Requirements
Like it is with forklifts, OSHA requires operators of skid steer loaders to be trained. Its regulation OSHA CFR 1926.21 says:
Shall … set up and oversee programs for the education and skid steer safety training of employers and employees in the identification, avoidance, and prevention of dangerous conditions in employments covered by the Act.
- The employer must avail himself of the safety and health training programs …
- The employer needs to instruct all employees to detect and avoid dangerous conditions and the regulations that apply to his work environment; and to control or remove all hazards or additional exposure to disease, sickness, or injury.
Skid Steer Safety Training Classes
Driving a skid steer loader may appear easy, but that’s often because the individual behind the wheel has been fully trained in skid steer safety and operation. Without adequate education and training on how to operate a skid loader professionally, both the driver and any other workers could be in danger.
A safety training program should cover any small loader design like skid steer, track drive, articulated steering, and axle steer machines. It should furthermore deal with factors impacting stability, safe and proper operation, pre-shift inspection, site inspection, and proper material handling and excavating techniques. After the classroom training an onsite proactive evaluation would be carried out where each operator gets coached on good habits and discarding risky behaviors.
Compact loaders might use several attachments, in many varied environments that can encompass slopes, slippery surfaces, deep mud, and unstable ground. Oftentimes this challenging operation is at close quarters to structures and other employees. Training for risks and hazards, coaching the right techniques, and individual assessment of the operator’s capability to operate safely and correctly; can make the difference between an accident and getting workers home to their families.
The Sum Up
In summary, regardless of how confident you feel about the operator’s abilities, there is no substitute for skid steer safety training. Do ensure that you don’t allow anyone to operate a skid steer loader unless they have received the proper safety training according to the requirements established by OSHA under OSHA CFR 1926.21 regulation.
Preventative maintenance is the most important part of skid steer loader safety. To tell the truth, no matter how safely your trained employee operates your skid loader, if they cannot keep the equipment in good repair; every day presents an enhanced risk that the device would fail, sometimes catastrophically.