Summertime means warmer weather and, typically, having the kids home from school. If you live on a working farm, or you’re renovating your home, your child will likely be around the heavy equipment you need for projects. It’s important to take extra precautions if you have little ones around machinery, which is why Equipment Trader has come up with five tips for kid safety in work areas.
1. Talk to Your Kids
A work site filled with heavy equipment can look like an exciting playground to younger kids. If your child is close to your work area, make sure to establish some safety rules with them.
If you’re renovating your home and renting heavy equipment, or you have permission to bring your child to your jobsite, this is likely a new environment for them. Be sure to tell them where they are and are not allowed, especially when machinery is in use. If you live on a farm, you’ve probably already had a conversation about safety with your child, but it never hurts to express your concerns again.
This is also a great opportunity to teach your child how a work area operates, what the different equipment does, and how everyone on-site stays safe. The more understanding a child has of a jobsite, the better you can protect them from any hazards
2. Designate a Play Area
If you want to keep your child close by, but out of harm’s way, consider establishing a designated play area for them. You can use either a room or fenced-off area to separate them from the bustling jobsite, while keeping them in your line of sight.
Make sure that this play area is away from where heavy equipment is predominantly used, and also where it is stored. If you’re working outside, be sure that your child is in a comfortable, shaded spot to protect them from the sun.
3. Perform Regular Safety Checks
If you operate a tractor or other heavy equipment regularly, you probably perform routine safety checks of the machine and your surroundings. When you have a child in your work area, it’s a good idea to implement these more often.
Even if your child is in their designated play area, you should always keep your head on a swivel. They could leave the area to ask you a question, for example, without you being aware of it.
If you take a break from operating any equipment, make sure it is turned completely off and properly secured. And, at the end of each day, ensure that any machinery is securely stored for the next day.
4. Always Know Where Your Child Is
It is incredibly important to know where your child is when they’re on or near a jobsite. You may find it helpful to have a camera overlooking their play area, allowing you to check in from your mobile device throughout the day.
You should also have a way for your child to get ahold of you if they need anything, without them entering the work area. They should be able to contact you if they need something without running into an area with heavy equipment. You can utilize your mobile phone or walkie talkies so your child can reach you remotely.
5. Don’t Let Kids Ride on Equipment
While it may be tempting to let your child hop in your lap or in the operator’s cab of a machine with you, it’s not a safe decision. Not all equipment is designed with the proper safety restraints for passengers, particularly young children. Only skilled operators should be on/in any heavy machinery, especially when it’s in use.
If your child is curious about how a piece of equipment works, you can safely show them when the machine is not running and the key is not in the ignition.
Having your child on a jobsite can help them to better understand and appreciate a hard day’s work. However, it’s important to establish some rules to keep them safe when they are close by. These tips can help prevent accidents and keep you focused on your tasks.