If you work in building or construction, then it’s highly likely that you will have either used, or come across, a wide range of plant machinery; from excavators, to rollers, dumpers and more. Health and safety is of course vital when working with such machinery, and it’s important that all workers are fully aware of how to use the machines before getting started.
There are many ‘do’s and don’ts’ when it comes to dumper hire, which cover many aspects, including safety, who can drive the machine, the conditions that are suitable to drive in, and how to ensure you’re using the machine correctly. From fully researching the hire company, to making sure the equipment is in good condition, there are several things to consider. If you’re in need of dumper hire for your next construction project, but aren’t familiar with the machine or where to start, see our guide below for the do’s and don’ts of dumper hire.
What is a dumper?
A dumper is a machine used to carry bulk material on building or construction sites. They are similar to dump trucks, but a dumper is usually an open four wheeled drive with the load skip at the front of the driver, whilst a dump truck has the load skip behind the driving cab.
Dumpers are usually diesel powered, and they can run on either wheels or rubber tracks if the work is taking place in muddy, snowy or slippery conditions. Dumpers come in several sizes, from mini dumper hire which can carry loads of up to one tonne, to much larger 10 tonne dumpers.
Do’s and don’ts
As mentioned, safety is the number one priority when it comes to working with plant machinery, and many of the do’s and don’ts are in regards to keeping your employees safe while working on the site. It’s also important to make sure the work is being completed as best it can, so with these in mind, see below for some of the do’s and don’ts when working with dumpers.
Do research the hire company thoroughly
It’s important that whichever company you choose to hire from is knowledgeable about the equipment, so that they can advise you on which size machine would be the most suitable, and provide any safety training your staff may need.
You should also research the company to make sure that their equipment is regularly serviced to ensure it’s safe and in good working order. Many building or construction companies will have a preferred supplier to hire their plant machinery from, but if you’re using one for the first time, read reviews and compare a few different companies for their price rates and range of equipment available.
Don’t operate dumpers in bad weather conditions
Workers should refrain from using dumpers in particularly heavy rain, snow, or icy conditions, and be mindful to take extra care to maneuver the vehicle slowly on wet, uneven or sloping ground. Snow and ice greatly affect the stability and control of the machine, so it simply isn’t safe to drive a dumper in these conditions.
Heavy rain can also lead to ruts being formed in soft ground, which can cause the dumper to become unstable and potentially overturn.
Do ensure all drivers are properly trained
It’s essential that anyone driving the machine is adequately trained and aware of how to safely operate the machinery. Dumpers should only be operated by trained, competent and authorised persons, and drivers need to be in possession of a current CSCS card. The operator should also be given induction training on any new site, to inform them of any hazards, traffic routes or other work happening in the area.
Drivers should never loan their keys to any other employee; and they should ensure that the vehicle’s engine is turned off, and the keys removed, whenever the dumper is not in use.
Do use stop blocks for safety
Stop blocks are an extremely useful way of protecting workers while using heavy or plant machinery; and they provide a way to protect drivers from embankments and other work areas, as well as preventing the dumper from tipping over into water or a ditch.
Don’t drive the dumper on unsafe gradients
Ideally, the ground should be as flat as possible or reasonably level before driving the dumper. Sloping ground should be avoided where possible, but if you must, then the driver should consult the user manual to ensure they’re working within safe limitations of the machine.
Do ensure all loads are properly secured
When loading the dumper, care should be taken to ensure that the weight is distributed evenly, the driver’s vision isn’t obscured, and that the load is properly secured. Uneven distribution can result in the dumper tipping over or becoming unstable, which can be very dangerous for the driver and nearby workers.
Don’t load the dumper without the brakes on
The dumper should always be loaded while on flat ground, and with the brakes on to prevent it from moving and causing any accidents. The dumper should also be out of gear and have the brakes applied when tipping out loads.
Don’t carry passengers unless seats are provided
In most cases, dumpers are designed to be driven by one person, unless otherwise stated, which means that passengers should not be carried unless there is a dedicated seat available. Drivers should also ensure they wear seat belts at all times; and regular checks should be made to ensure seat belts are fully functional and safe.
Do inspect the equipment before use
Dumpers come in several different sizes, and it may sound obvious, but you should always inspect the machine before use to ensure that it’s appropriate. Any potential drivers of the machine should also check to make sure that the driver’s seat is secure, the seat belt isn’t damaged or missing, the brakes and handbrakes work effectively, that the hazard lights are functioning, the tipping controls work, and the tyres are free of holes of other defects.
Do carry out risk assessments
Risk assessments are necessary in many fields; but they’re especially important when working with heavy and potentially dangerous machinery. A risk assessment examines any potential causes of harm, reduce the chances of any accident to employees while working, takes steps to minimise the harm, and takes precautions to prevent the chances of any accident occurring.
A risk assessment involves several steps, including looking at the hazards, assessing who could be harmed and how; evaluating the risks, and making note of any findings.
If you’re in need of dumper hire or construction equipment rental in Dorset, get in touch with the team at Buckland Newton Hire. We have a range of dumpers for hire in a variety of sizes; from one tonne mini high tip dumpers, to six tonne swivel dumpers, nine tonne straight tip dumpers, and more. As well as dumpers, we have an extensive range of machine hire available, including excavators, rollers, telehandlers, earth moving equipment and more. We also offer rubbish removal and waste disposal services, aggregates, skip hire, specialist groundworks, and haulage. For more information about any of our services, or to arrange dumper hire, give us a call today or visit our website.