When getting on or off equipment, you need three points of constant contact with the machine. That means one hand and two feet, or two hands and one foot – at all times. Anything less and you’re risking a fall.
Three-point contact forms a triangle of anchor points which changes in form while you mount or dismount. You have the most stability when the centre of this triangle is close to your centre of gravity. Your weight should be evenly distributed among the three contact points. This means that you should avoid sideways movement because it can put you off balance.
- Always face in towards the machine.
- Mount and dismount only when the equipment is stopped.
- Break three-point contact only when you reach the ground, cab, or platform.
- Take extra care in wet, snowy or icy weather.
- Avoid wearing loose or torn clothing that can catch on the equipment.
- If necessary, retrofit equipment to provide safe access.
- NEVER JUMP! You may land off balance or on an uneven surface and fall.
Employers can help reduce the incidence of worker injury by:
- Evaluating every piece of equipment. Provid additional steps, non-slip surfaces and hand holds where necessary.
- Maintain step, contact surfaces and handholds in useable condition.
- Instruct all workers in safely mounting and dismounting equipment.
- Install warning decals or signs in the cab or on the door of the equipment to remind workers to use three-point contact.
Work smart, stay safe!