Todd Jerome Jenkins, MS, CSP, SMS, CHST, STSC

Safety Aficionado & Ph.D. Student

Weekly Safety Topic – Swing Radius

Crushed by and caught in between are two of the top four leading causes of death on a construction site. Mobile equipment is one of the most common contributing factors to crushed by and caught in between incidents. To prevent mobile equipment from striking or crushing people, always barricade areas within the “swing radius” of moving parts. This barrier can consist of orange reflective traffic cones, barrels snow fence or a more permanent type of barrier, that warns people of the dangers of operating machines. 

Equipment operators are responsible for placing the swing radius barriers before they begin operation. Everyone in the work area should be instructed on the purpose of the barriers, and no work should be conducted inside the barriers when machines are operating. If work is necessary adjacent to the machine, the operator should stop and assist in the work. The machine should not be in operation if repairs to the machine or maintenance are required.

Equipment operators can work to prevent accidents. Each operator should develop a habit of walking around their equipment before operation. Check the equipment itself and the area where you will be operating the equipment. Ask yourself, are there any obstacles, such as depressions or poles, that might affect how you operate your machine? Is anyone else working in the area, or is there potential for anyone to enter the work area? Is a spotter available? Are the barricades sufficient and still in place?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *