Workers Health & Safety Centre

Steering clear of hazards with WHSC new Skid Steer Safety Training

Steering clear of hazards with WHSC new Skid Steer Safety Training
One recent incident took place at a construction site in London, Ontario. On August 23, 2011 Chris Zoidis, 37, was crushed when a skid steer backed onto him. He later died in hospital. According to reports, Zoidis and the skid steer operator were experienced workers, but no spotter for the skid steer had been assigned.
Aiming to help prevent further skid-steer incidents, the Workers Health & Safety Centre has developed a new Skid Steer Safety Training program.
Available for booking immediately, this training program will provide participants with an understanding of skid-steer features along with associated hazards and control measures. Participants will also explore the Occupational Health and Safety Act to learn about key rights and responsibilities of the workplace parties.
This training is suitable for both new and experienced skid steer operators. It is designed for delivery over two days. The first day is an in-class session and the second day is a hands-on demonstration session – otherwise known as a practicum. By the end of the two sessions participants will have gained the requisite knowledge and skills needed for the safe operation of a skid steer vehicle.
The small booklet style participant’s manual is useful for easy reference and portability. To aid participants’ understanding, the program also benefits from a good deal of graphic content. The structure of the training program is as follows. 

Day 1 – In-Class Session

The session begins by introducing participants to the various types of skid steers, how they work and their versatility. The instructor will also lead a discussion about the many different types of skid-steer attachments and their application within different work sectors.  Participants will learn about the hazards associated with each attachment and the factors affecting the skid steer stability such as weight capacity, rough terrain, speed and turning.  This section also covers the centre of gravity and load centre theory as well as the combined centre of gravity concept.
Next, the legislation section covers the duties of the employer, supervisor and worker. The instructor will use a flow chart to illustrate the worker right to refuse unsafe work. Participants will engage in a discussion about the “competent person” definition as it relates to a competent skid steer operator. Participants will also become familiar with sections of the construction regulation relevant to skid steer operations.
A discussion on hazard control measures will provide participants with information about  actual and potential skid-steer operation hazards, including pinning and crushing hazards, rollovers, noise, vibration, heat and cold stress, overhead and underground electrical hazards, visibility, vehicle emissions, confined space, plus mount and dismount hazards.
Day one will wrap up with a discussion about operating rules and safe practices and procedures, such as how to travel on an incline or decline with or without a load.

Day 2 – Practicum

On day two, participants will learn, through practice and demonstration, how to safely operate a skid-steer. For novice operators it’s an opportunity to experience the skid steer’s maneuverability and demonstrate their ability to control the skid steer. Meanwhile, experienced operators get the chance to revaluate their ability and competency.
The practicum begins with participants going through a daily inspection checklist, followed by a driving demonstration. During this demonstration participants will exhibit safe operation of a skid steer by performing maneuvers such as driving forward, reversing, turning, plus lifting and lowering the skid steer’s lift arms and/or attachments. Where possible, participants will also demonstrate picking up and moving material.