Every heavy-duty vehicle should be carefully operated in order to ensure that safety can and will be given a top priority. When working with vacuum trucks, it is likewise true that the operation of this massive extraction machine must be carefully and skillfully handled to make every job operation as safe as it can be.
While proper training on the use of these vehicles is of high importance, it is also necessary that the entire job site be carefully monitored and controlled as well. Such action could involve anything from being sure that bystanders do not get too close to the work area to how well the vacuum truck equipment is used when in operation. Preventing accidents, injury, and any other problems including damage to the equipment is dependent upon having a level head and good control of the work site.
Practice Correct Equipment Use
It is important that everyone involved in the vacuum truck operation understand a few important yet basic aspects about the safe and correct use of this massive vehicle. The truck itself should be positioned so that there is as straight a line as possible from the vehicle to the work site with as few bends as possible. A straight line from the pump site to the truck is optimal as it allows for the least amount of friction and obstructions, thereby reducing the chance of clogs occurring in the hose line.
Use hoses that have the largest possible diameter as that will help to increase job efficiency; be sure that the end of the hose is properly clamped to the vacuum intake. All hoses being used should be of the same diameter; also be sure that a safety relief valve has been installed along the line. In taking these important steps, fewer problems getting the job done should be encountered.
Protect Operators and Bystanders
When working with vacuum trucks and even when a job seems completely safe and easy, it is vital to follow all established operational rules and guidelines especially regarding the safety of anyone else around the job site. This may require having another worker handle traffic control if working on a traveled street or simply keeping homeowners away from the job site when working in residential areas.
Set up signs or cones if necessary so that oncoming traffic is alerted that work is occurring; a second worker should be posted to watch for anyone coming near the truck or pumping area. Section off as large of an area as possible around the work site to create a buffer zone to prevent any vehicles or bystanders from getting too close, which can be a lifesaving option for both workers and the public.
Make Safety a Top Priority
Even though it may seem as if using a vacuum truck is a fairly safe job with accidents an unlikely occurrence, not focusing on the entire job operation can cause accidents and injury to both workers and others who may be in close vicinity of the work site. Following all safety procedures in regard to truck positioning, equipment set up, and other safety factors is essential and should never be taken for granted. Correct procedures while actually performing the job as to proper equipment use as well as wearing all protective gear is important to prevent injury to those performing the actual job operation. It is also essential to have a plan of action in case any problems should arise, whether with the equipment, workers, or bystanders.
The best fleet crews are those who know the job well and always stay safe during the procedure. Companies should provide refresher courses for all workers on updated safety measures, the correct use of vacuum truck equipment, and all other means of keeping every job site under excellent control!