Skid steer loaders can be dangerous if you do not observe certain safety precautions. Injuries and death are preventable. The most commonly reported causes of serious injury and death using skid steer loaders are: crushed by moving parts and rollover accidents. Never leave the operator’s station when the engine is running or the lift arms are raised. When operated improperly, skid steer loaders can overturn, especially handling heavy loads or operating on uneven ground.
Safe work habits are important. Here are three actions you can take to be safe on the job site.
1. Learn all you can. To prevent accidents with skid steer loaders, read and follow directions in the equipment operator’s manual. Pay attention to safety instructions in the manual and to warning labels you see on the equipment. If you have questions, stop and ask your supervisor before you continue.
2. Concentrate on working safely. Sometimes you may be tempted to take risky shortcuts. Remember that an accident can leave you permanently injured or cut your life short. For your safety and the safety of those around you, do not take unnecessary risks. No deadline is so pressing you can’t take the time to do your work safely.
3. Additional Precautions. Do not operate machinery if you are tired or have taken drugs or alcohol. If you are on medication, discuss with your doctor or pharmacist if you are capable of safely operating machinery.
Neither OSHA or ANSI have released a set of skid loader specific standards or rules. Since skid loaders are able to accept forks then they do not fall under OSHA’s standards for earth moving vehicles.