Construction Safety - Compactors and Rollers
Construction activities may require material to be flattened and compacted to provide a smooth surface such as for a new permanent or temporary road. This machinery works by producing downward pressure onto the surface and comes in either hand operated form similar to a lawnmower, and larger duty form such as a ride on roller. Both of these types can pose risks to the health and safety of operators and others nearby.
The hand-manipulated equipment is quite heavy and requires some effort to move around, which means there is a significant chance of the operator suffering a manual handling injury from it such as a slipped disc, torn muscle or tendon damage. Many will be powered by an engine rather than electricity to allow for a range of movement which is not restricted by the length of the electricity cable. This means that there is a danger of fire from the fuel, particularly when refuelling takes place. Whilst the machine should be switched off completely before refuelling commences, parts of it will still be hot such as the exhaust which will easily cause a fire if petrol was to come into contact with it and combust. Workers can also get their own or another person's foot underneath the compactor if they are not careful.
As for ride on rollers, they have the potential to cause serious injuries or even death to the driver and any fellow workers or members of the public nearby. This large, heavy piece of equipment can easily crush a person or any part of their anatomy that gets caught under the roller. It can also trap and crush a person if the roller starts to move unintentionally if it is on a slope and collides with them. Like all pieces of equipment and tools on a construction site, this machinery should be secured to prevent unauthorised use by trespassers, and workers without suitable health and safety training in its correct operation should not be allowed to operate it at any time.