Heavy Machinery Safety in Construction: Training and Best Practices

construction machinery on soil
  • Author: Fazal Umer
  • Posted On: September 6, 2023
  • Updated On: September 7, 2023

When constructing a high-rise building and deploying heavy machinery and equipment, adhering to a set of rules is imperative, especially when your workers are operating at significant heights. In this context, the paramount concern is heavy machinery safety in construction and providing comprehensive training to construction workers.

This is even more critical when operating heavy machinery at elevated locations, as disregarding best practices can result in accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

A report published by Safe Work Australia reveals that approximately 12,600 workers’ compensation claims are accepted from the construction industry annually, involving injuries and illnesses that require one or more weeks off work.

In the construction industry, this equates to 35 serious claims each day. Statistics for 2020 and 2021 indicate a 57% decrease in the fatality rate from its peak in 2007 and a 35% decrease since 2012. The construction industry recorded 24 fatalities for the year.

To mitigate work-related hazards and reduce the risk of physical harm to workers, you must train your workforce in properly handling heavy equipment and follow best practices to prevent physical injuries. Training is crucial because there are multiple factors that can lead to fatalities, trauma, and accidents, resulting in the loss of body parts during construction at great heights. 

These potential mishaps include:

  • Falls from significant heights while working on an under-construction building.
  • Straining and overexertion.
  • Slips and trips.
  • Collisions with moving objects at the construction site.
  • Contact with live wires or electricity.
  • Burns (e.g., from welding machines).
  • Falling bricks, heavy objects, and boulders from considerable heights are striking ground workers.
  • Vehicle-related accidents.

These factors underscore the paramount importance of training your construction workers before they commence their duties at the construction site. Well-trained workers are better equipped to exercise caution and adhere to safety protocols, ensuring their own safety and preventing disruptions to your construction projects. Remember that any work interruption due to an accident can result in financial losses.

Training and Best Practices for Construction Workers

Ensuring safety at active construction sites, whether at great heights or tall under-construction buildings, is vital not only for safeguarding your workers’ lives but also for maintaining uninterrupted workflow. To achieve this, it is imperative that your construction workers receive thorough training in self-protection and best practices in building construction. You can maintain best practices at construction sites by adhering to at least five essential norms:

  • Conducting equipment or machinery risk assessments and providing training to workers. Training your workers to handle equipment helps prevent machinery-related accidents and aligns with Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) regulations.
  • Offering equipment operator training to your workers. This training is instrumental in ensuring the safety of your construction workers while offering working at heights course, instilling awareness of their surroundings, and proper machinery operation.
  • Mandating equipment inspection before operation. Rigorous equipment inspections before starting and stopping machinery are critical precautions to prevent fatalities and accidents resulting from even minor mistakes.
  • Providing mandatory reading of OHS safety booklets. Equipping workers with safety booklets as part of their training helps them understand the hazards associated with machinery operation at great heights. It familiarizes them with the construction site hazard checklist.
  • Strictly enforcing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) norms. Training your workers to adhere to PPE guidelines, including wearing helmets, heavy gloves, safety glasses, sturdy boots, and seat belts when operating heavy machinery at elevated heights, is essential for their safety.

Nature of Health Hazards Related to Construction Workers

Workers in the construction industry face numerous occupational hazards, which become even more pronounced when untrained individuals are engaged at construction sites, particularly when heavy-duty equipment and machinery are involved at great heights. Common occupational hazards for construction site workers include:

  • Accidental death resulting from falls from heights, injuries caused by heavy moving objects, electric shocks, entanglement in machinery conveyor belts, and being dragged by machinery.
  • Loss of body parts, which can be avoided through comprehensive training. Construction industry accidents often lead to limb amputations.
  • Loss of eyesight due to various causes, including falling heavy materials or sharp objects penetrating the eyes, causing vision impairment.
  • Electrocution while operating heavy equipment powered by electricity often results in death or severe injuries.
  • Serious burn injuries can occur when workers are exposed to hot fluids or flames.
  • These emergencies can be prevented by training workers to take safety precautions while operating heavy machinery at considerable heights.


Every real estate or building construction project necessitates the use of heavy machinery at considerable heights. The work conducted by your employees often involves operating heavy equipment running on electricity at elevated locations.

In the event of any mishap during these operations, such as accidents, injuries, or fatalities, it is imperative to mitigate these risks through comprehensive worker training and the proper handling of automated machinery.

Avatar photo
Author: Fazal Umer

Fazal is a dedicated industry expert in the field of civil engineering. As an Editor at ConstructionHow, he leverages his experience as a civil engineer to enrich the readers looking to learn a thing or two in detail in the respective field. Over the years he has provided written verdicts to publications and exhibited a deep-seated value in providing informative pieces on infrastructure, construction, and design.