Your construction company is using heavy equipment in the woods and you're worried about running into trouble. After all, the wilderness is a much different building zone than the city and accidents are likely to happen. However, if you understand why these accidents happen and how to avoid them, you can keep your equipment and drivers safe from accidents.
How Heavy Equipment Accidents Happen
Heavy equipment accidents in the woods occur for a variety of reasons. One of the most common of these is the limited visibility that affects most pieces of heavy equipment. Not being able to see where you are going is problematic in a wilderness environment, where the ground level will vary wildly.
Combine that limited visibility with the unpredictable nature of a forest floor, and your drivers run the risk of running up a hill, driving into an unknown valley, and tipping over their vehicle. That's why it's so important to check out your construction site first.
Inspecting For Potential Dangers
Video websites like YouTube are filled with harrowing incidents of heavy equipment accidents in the woods. The all-natural environment in these wooded areas make them more unpredictable than city construction zones. Before driving heavy equipment near your forest construction zone, look out for the following dangers:
- Weak hills that might crumble under treads
- Wet areas that might sink under equipment
- Holes in the ground that might cause an imbalance
- Trees getting in the way or falling the wrong direction
- Sink holes suddenly appearing
The latter problem is particularly prevalent, as sudden sink holes can be large enough to swallow an entire piece of heavy equipment. It's worth going more in-depth on this point, as it is so serious and concerning.
Learning how to spot sinkholes requires paying special attention to your surroundings and understanding how sinkholes form. They form when the surface of the ground collapses into areas of limestone bedrock that have been eroded over a period of years.
Sinkholes often form without advance warning, but there are several signs that a sinkhole may be forming in your construction zone. They include:
- Sagging trees or posts
- Water collecting in new areas
- Unexplained vegetation wilting
- Cracks in the ground that are expanding
If you spot any of these warning signs, halt construction, get your heavy equipment out of there, and call a professional sinkhole inspector right away. They can gauge whether or not a sinkhole is forming there and may even be able to prevent it from collapsing. Contact a heavy construction equipment rental company for more info.