Asked and Answered: Tackling 4 Key AEM Safety Materials End User Inquiries

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7/31/2023

By Rebecca Basten, AEM Safety Materials Program Manager —

­As a member of AEM’s Safety & Product Leadership Department, I oversee the development of AEM’s safety manuals, decals and training kits, all designed to keep equipment operators safe.

AEM’s Safety Materials program has worked with its member companies for over 50 years to develop consensus best practices content for our line of safety manuals. These manuals are used all over the world, and they protect end users from the hazards of operating almost every type of big equipment. The safety materials program includes over 50 unique manual titles, in addition to a wealth of different types of related collateral.

In many cases, a safety manual is often assigned a part number associated with a manufacturer’s production process to ensure it is included with other safety literature when the equipment is sold into market. This integration with the manufacturing process helps AEM member companies in their risk management programs.

Since starting my role as the program’s manager in March of 2022, I’ve experienced several inquiries related to technical and safety documentation for large equipment, most often ag tractors and attachments, crawler tractors and compact equipment.

Below are some examples of questions from external agencies and customers, which are often operators or owners of small-to mid-sized construction companies or ag operations:

Equipment Transportation Procedures

I've received several inquiries from end users and operators who are looking for directions on the transportation of their equipment. This can include tie-down procedures for transporting rentals, and the rules of the road when it comes to driving large equipment, often agricultural tractors, on public roads.

We do our best to direct them to the right resources, but due to the varying nature of OEM equipment’s tie-down points, we direct them back to the OEM website for further information. The best approach a manufacturer can take to address this common inquiry is to include literature specific to their equipment when selling to large rental houses and dealerships.

Technical Maintenance and Repair

Oftentimes, I receive phone calls from operators asking for directions on equipment maintenance or repair. Many of these callers have reported a lack of technical documentation regarding the purchase or rental of their equipment. When this occurs, I do my best to redirect them to the OEM’s website, where they can find supporting technical documentation and product support. Unfortunately, however, operators don’t always find the information they need.

Something OEMs might consider to address this issue is adding a weatherproof, industrial decal with directions to the OEM’s technical documentation hub. Whether it includes a QR code or a simple customer support telephone number, efficient access to OEM literature and product support is integral to accident prevention.

Missing Documentation

While not directly related to safety literature, plenty of phone calls come in from customers who find our number in the AEM safety manuals. When they call, they often inquire about replacement parts on their equipment (often a replacement operator’s manual). The most effective course of action an OEM can take to proactively address this common request is to offer a robust online resource for customer support, parts maintenance and safety protocol that is specific to the make and model of an OEM’s equipment.

OSHA Inquiries

End users are not the only ones to call and inquire about safety best practices around large equipment. On occasion, we receive calls from OSHA officials, inquiring about our safety materials and how they might benefit and help prevent accidents on the jobsite.

When it comes to safety, customers will always have questions. AEM is proud to support its member’s efforts in providing best practice literature to end users for safe operation of big equipment. We will continue to field calls from customers to help them find the correct technical literature when it comes to the safe maintenance and operation of member company equipment.

For More Information

AEM supports safety awareness year-round by offering an extensive array of safety products, including safety manuals and videos, with major equipment types covering aerial, agriculture, compact/portable, earthmoving, forestry, lifting, road paving and utility excavation applications.

Click here to see the complete line of AEM safety materials, or visit safetymaterials.org. For additional information, contact AEM’s Rebecca Basten at rbasten@aem.org.

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