Heavy Equipment Operator Training is key in helping sustain an ecologically friendly environment. This is echoed in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report available on their website, Cleaner Construction USA – “Cleaner Diesel Makes Good Business Sense: Low Cost Ways To Cleaner Construction.”
Consider that an average excavator on a jobsite today emits as much particulate matter in one hour as a new “big rig” does traveling 1,144 miles. “Heavy equipment is here to stay so we need to learn to lower the impact they have on the environment. A big part of that starts with the operator,” says Matt Klabacka, Founder of NAHETS.
In fact many of the new “green-projects” will require heavy equipment for their construction. Whether it is to erect energy producing wind turbines, building new high-speed railways, harvesting grain for biodiesel fuel, drilling for natural gas, or mining for new sources of energy, heavy equipment is involved.
Training heavy equipment operators to work efficiently in this new climate and to understanding the impact these machines can have on the environment is just the first of many steps which we can take to meet these new challenges. Having vigilant oversight and training in other related “green” construction jobsite practices is also important.
“NAHETS has made a commitment to train the next generation of operators to follow the EPA’s recommendations. But it goes beyond these basics. We want to instill a sense of responsibility to become good stewards when it comes to environmental considerations,” says Mr. Klabacka. “Operators need this training now, especially since many of them are going to work alongside other “Green-collar” workers on projects which the Federal Gobernment is funding through the new American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.
At NAHETS we considered every facet of the work which operators get involved in. Training in the use of GPS technology helps to make grade control, site management, and equipment operations more efficient. Showing operators how to save fuel and to reduce pollution by reducing engine idling and working to eliminate nonproductive techniques adds to these savings. Teaching them the importance of earth friendly biodegradable lubricants and hydraulic fluids, low sulfur diesel and biodiesel fuels, recycling used oil, and proper preventive maintenance helps to lessen the impact on the environment. We also educate them on dust control methods and ways to protect groundwater from getting contaminated. Combining of all of these tactics can go a long way toward making heavy equipment more environmentally friendly.
(2) Digging Up Trouble: Construction Pollution in California… http://ucsusa.wsm.ga3.org/assets/documents/clean_vehicles/Statewide-FAQ.pdf