This year, GBCA is participating in OSHA’s Focus Four Campaign, providing resources to avoid incidents involving OSHA’s Focus Four hazards. This month, we’re featuring resources on Caught-in/Between hazards and this week’s toolbox talk is about safely performing maintenance on site equipment. Scroll down to read it. Click below to download it as a printable Toolbox Talk.


Safely Performing Maintenance on Site Equipment

Ask the following questions and give time for answers:

  • What are the hazards?
    • Bodily entrapment with object, potential or stored energy
  • What are the results?
    • Broken or crushed limbs and bones, suffocation, punctures, head injury, internal damage, and death
  • What should we look for?
    • Equipment not secured, not chocked, no secondary protection device, equipment operating nearby, and maintenance performed on unstable ground

Actual Incident:

In October 2014, a 31 year old heavy equipment operator was killed when he was caught under the wheel of a backhoe that he was services. As he was working, the left front wheel of the backhoe loosened and came off. He attempted to fix the backhoe by lifting the wheel and digging the backhoe’s front bucket down into the ground. He stood by the side of the machine and reached in to turn on the ignition. The backhoe was in gear and immediately lurched forward, striking the victim and pulling him under the equipment. The worker was asphyxiated and died at the scene.

How do we prevent these results?

  • Service equipment in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Use safety equipment such as chock blocks, jack stands, etc.
  • Inspect all safety equipment in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations. Use appropriately rated equipment.
  • Always service equipment on stable, level ground.
  • Always engage the parking brake while maintaining equipment.
  • De-energize and lock-out the equipment’s energy (hydraulics, electrical system, etc.).

Ask the following questions about this site and ensure every item is covered.

  • Do you have a designated place to service equipment?
  • What types of safety equipment can you use to prevent equipment from falling on you while you service it? (Parking brake, jack stands, chock blocks, etc.)
  • Does your company have a standard operating procedure (SOP) or job hazard analysis (JHA) for maintaining equipment? Have you read it?