A skid steer loader/tractor is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment for agricultural, construction and landscaping operations. It is designed to maneuver easily in tight spaces and has a variety of attachments to complete multiple jobs. Like many tools, the skid-steer does have drawbacks. Skid-steer loaders are complex and potentially dangerous machines to control. They require the combined simultaneous use of the hands and feet to operate most effectively. During use, the center of gravity shifts as the bucket or attachment is raised or lowered or when operated on a slope. This shift increases the potential for roll over/tip-over incidents. Operators must be aware of the significant blind spots that are present and be aware of the crush hazard inherent in the lifting arms. There are also significant hazards to those working around or near the skid-steer due to the movement of the machine during operation. Other factors, such as ice, mud, and slick work areas, may increase the risk of an incident.
Departments that own, rent, and/or otherwise operate Skid Steer equipment must:
- Select and then purchase or rent appropriate equipment for job tasks based upon the work-environment and the completion of a job/task hazard analysis.
- Ensure personnel are properly trained, licensed and authorized to operate the specific type(s) of owned/rented equipment, in accordance with established campus guidelines. The department must post a list of these individuals in a conspicuous location.
- Conduct documented safety inspections and preventive maintenance of the equipment.
- Purchase and supply all required personal protective equipment (PPE) for persons trained and authorized to operate skid steer equipment. This includes: hard hat, safety glasses, high-visibility vests, safety gloves, and safety shoes/boots.
- Assure operators adhere to specific safe-work practices whenever using these types of powered industrial equipment including use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Approve Contractors / Vendors to use skid steer equipment on their premises, and only allow properly licensed contractor / vendor personnel to use Department-owned equipment. Note: Contractors/vendors must have proof of training and licensing to operate this equipment equal to or exceeding the established requirements for UCSB personnel.