High Capacity Telehandler and Visibility: How are they Interrelated?

High Capacity Telehandler and Visibility How are they Interrelated

We know how telehandlers work and lift loads to a height. It is the skilled operator in the cab who manages the operation work smoothly. The entire management on the construction site is done by the supervisors/senior personnel etc to keep everyone safe. Warning signboards are placed for the workers and pedestrians to keep them alert for their safety.

Though all safety and security measures are exercised on the construction site, accidents are prone to happen. Several reasons like poor management on the site or faulty machines contribute to workplace accidents. One of the primary reasons is the visibility of the operator of the high capacity telehandler that affects the load suspension and related fall accidents.

Visibility of Persons in the Vicinity of the High Capacity Telehandler

Restricted visibility when the boom is raised or when large loads are carried, plus poor segregation has been identified as a major cause of accidents involving pedestrians. The high capacity telehandlers are often fitted with aids to improve visibility and the operator’s awareness of people in the vicinity of the telehandler. The visionary aids need to work in a proper condition and properly adjusted for better visibility. Moreover, it is the operator’s responsibility to check whether the primary and secondary aids are working in a good condition or not.

It is strictly advised NOT TO USE THE MACHINE if the vision mechanism is not present or not working properly. Moreover, it is the supervisor’s responsibility to support the operator in the telehandler work cycle and overcome any particular challenge. If a telehandler is to lift suspended loads on-site, the physical dimensions of the loads and their effect upon visibility is common. The safest way of using a telehandler to load/offload is to keep the machine stationary and use the telescopic facility of the boom, rather than using the wheels. The primary responsibility of the principal contractor in the process is to ensure adequate segregation and keep the pedestrians away from the construction site while manoeuvring and traveling.

What If there is Obstructed Visibility from the cab?

A high capacity telehandler with a suspended load will restrict the front vision. However, if the operator cannot see clearly, they should ask assistance or leave the cab immediately to have a look around in the area. It is done to ensure safety and continue the procedure. If heavy loads are lifted, special care has to be taken to implement the steps for a clear vision. It is mandatory to be safe, alert, and secure from any onsite accidents. So, if visibility is the reason for a slow procedure or a halt during the work, appropriate steps should be taken to eradicate those issues and get the proper system installed and encoded to avoid any danger in the telehandler.

Proper Signaling System:

Where it is clear that the operator is not able to keep the load in full view or will have difficulty in judging the distance of the load from the landing/pick-up point or any obstructions, a signaller should be provided. If a signaller is used, consideration should be given to the means of signalling i.e., hand signals or portable radio. Some telehandlers allow the use of remote controls for boom functions which may mean that the operator can keep the load in view at all times.

Plan Lifting Operation with Greater Visibility:

The operator of the telehandler should be fit and fine with clear visibility to lift and track the load movement. There are chances that the high capacity telehandler operator may be at risk of tripping and falling when trying to move around the site over uneven ground while concentrating on controlling the telehandler. Also, the operator may not have a good view of the load and any obstructions. Consequently, the operator must always have the telehandler boom and load in sight at all times, unless working under the signalling system setup.

If the operator has visibility issues in managing and operating a telehandler, they should work under the signal system and take every precautionary measure to avoid any mishandling of a high capacity telehandler.

Go through the safety manual and follow the instructions properly before lifting and placing heavy loads on site.