Focus Four Toolbox Talks, Module 3 – Caught-in/between, Talk #6 – Safety Belts

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IUOE National Training Fund

Summary Statement

A toolbox talk on preventing caught-in incidents by wearing seatbelts. Includes questions to ask, an incident to discuss with images, and a place to record questions the trainer would like to ask about the incident. Part of a collection. Click on the 'collection' button to access the other items.

Use of safety belts and how they protect operators

Ask the following questions and give time for answers.

  • What are the hazards? Bodily entrapment between equipment and another surface
  • What are the results? Broken or crushed body parts, suffocation, punctures, head injury, internal damage, and death
  • What should we look for? Equipment in disrepair (broken or missing safety belts, broken or missing rollover protection and doors), seatbelts tied together, steep inclines, unstable surfaces

Relate this incident or better one you know.

Actual Incident: On April 19, 1997, a 56-year-old bulldozer operator was killed while clearing land on a steep hillside using a John Deere 450C bulldozer. He was using the bulldozer to clear a path leading downhill. As he was grading, he backed the bulldozer to the edge of the path and the soft dirt gave way, causing the dozer to overturn and roll several times down the hillside. The bulldozer was equipped with a Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS), but the victim was not wearing a seatbelt. He was thrown out as it rolled and the vehicle came to rest on top of him at the bottom of the hill. The county coroner was summoned and pronounced the victim dead at the scene.

Ask the following question and ensure every item is covered.

How do we prevent these results?

  • Inspect seatbelts and ROPS before using equipment. Do not operate equipment with damaged safety devices.
  • Always wear seatbelts.
  • Only remove seatbelts when equipment is turned off, parking brake is engaged and equipment is parked on a level, stable surface.
  • Ride out rollovers. Workers often are injured or killed when they jump.
  • Know the hazards of steep slopes and unstable ground. Take extra precautions.

Ask the following questions about this site and ensure every item is covered.

Let’s talk about this site now.

  • How would you inspect equipments seatbelts, what would you look for? Frayed/ damaged belt, damaged buckle belt not secured to equipment.
  • When is it safe to remove your seatblet? When equipment is turned off, parking brake engaged and equipment is parked on a level, stable surface.
  • What would you do if you found a damaged seatbelt?
  • How do you operate equipment on steep slopes and embankments?

Record questions below that you want to ask about this site.