Safety Matters: Maintaining Three-Point Contact
The best way to prevent falling while getting into or out of a truck or other construction equipment is to follow the three-point contact system.
Mounting or dismounting a large truck or piece of equipment without hurting yourself seems simple enough, but many accidents involve this type of injury.
The Three-Point Contact System
Three-point contact is exactly that: three of your four limbs are in contact with the equipment at all times. No matter what type of access system is available on your vehicle or equipment, the three-point system significantly reduces the chances of slipping or falling by providing the ability to maintain maximum stability and support when you enter or exit equipment. The three points form a triangle, distributing your body's weight at the center.
Remember, the only person who can prevent a fall is you. Here are some simple do's and don'ts to follow when entering or exiting a large vehicle or other construction equipment:
- Always exit and enter your vehicle facing the cab.
- Slow down and use extra caution in bad weather.
- Get a firm grip on rails or handles with your hands.
- Use parts designed by the manufacturer for mounting and dismounting. This includes steps, running boards, traction strips, footholds, handgrips, etc.
- Look below for obstacles on the ground before exiting.
- Wear safe, non-slip shoes with good support.
- Clean your shoes off; mud, grease, and oil can cause you to slip.
- Inspect handholds and ladders/rungs to ensure they are in good condition.
- Only climb on and off when equipment is stationary.
- Never carry anything with your free hand when mounting or dismounting. Put the object on the vehicle floor and reach up for it when you get down on the ground.
- Don't rush to climb out of your vehicle or machinery after a long period of sitting. Climb down slowly to avoid straining a muscle or losing your balance.
- Never jump out of construction equipment or vehicles. You may land off balance or on an uneven surface and fall.
- Don't use tires, wheel hubs or machine tracks as a step surface.
- Do not use door frames, door edges, or door handles as a handhold.
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