Let’s face it, after a long hard snow or ice event, the last thing anyone wants to do is clean the equipment after service. Even after the season, as other spring services ramp up, it is hard to find time to properly clean all of the equipment and tools used during winter. But this is an essential piece of maintaining the investment and longevity of equipment, and should be taken seriously as both a necessity and from a safety standpoint.
Cleaning equipment does create risk for injuries such as eye damage (chemicals/sprays), cuts and abrasions, slips/falls, and potentially serious injuries related to cleaning equipment while it is in operation or has moving parts.
Any spreader, even a tailgate spreader, can pose a significant danger due to moving spinners, augers, and belts that can catch clothing, resulting in a potentially serious or fatal accident.
Here are some tips for cleaning spreaders safely:
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- For large Vbox spreaders, it is best to always work with spreaders that have some type grating to prevent a person or large object from falling in and getting caught in the machinery. Never allow an employee to stand in or on top of a spreader, including the grating. Best practice would be to use rolling stairs or a very sturdy/supported ladder.
- Do not clean spreaders below 32 degrees, as the use of water that could potentially freeze will increase the chances of slips/falls in your shop or near the equipment.
- Always have two people assigned to cleaning large spreaders, so one can elevate themselves while the other can hand hoses up and down.
- Never clean a spreader with the conveyor or auger moving if at all possible.