Health and safety concerns with excavators encourage managers to ensure that all personnel who use this type of equipment are properly trained.
If you are thinking of using an excavator for a construction project, you will need to be aware of the health and safety concerns for operators and other site users.
In the United Kingdom, the law states that sites must be organized to create separate spaces for pedestrians and excavators. This is done to improve safety during all projects.
All excavators are to be in good condition and maintained regularly by experienced personnel. They should be handled safely by drivers who have experience and are trained to use them.
Routes which are free of hazards should be provided so that pedestrians can navigate safely while the excavators are in use on-site.
Tips on Using Excavators Safely
Excavators are designed with a single seat for safety reasons. A rider should not be permitted to position themselves in the bucket, cab, or any other location on the machine. This is to prevent them from being a distraction to the driver, or falling off while the machine is being operated.
Drivers should ensure that they are properly seated in the vehicle and maintain control of it, before attempting to use it. Buckets should also be held close to the ground while materials are being transported.
This increases visibility and stability. Slopes should always be ascended vertically instead of diagonally, to decrease the risk of sliding or toppling.
Always extend the arm and boom when you are travelling up a slope. The bucket should be fully rolled out and carried as low as possible. This improves your safety by allowing you to quickly drop the bucket and focus on maintaining stability if you are sliding.
When you are moving downhill, keep the bucket bottom parallel to the ground. It should be as low as possible. The boom and arm help you to move downhill safely in slippery or wet conditions. Simply extend the boom to increase stability when you are going uphill.
If you need to pull your machine up, retract the arm and lower the bucket. The flat surface of the bucket should rest on the ground when you are going down a slope. Ensure that as you retract the arm, the boom is raised and you propel the unit forward so that the front tracks go to ground level.
Your safety during the process of trenching is increased by placing dirt under the tracks to make sure the machine is level. Taking the time to do this keeps the trench that you are digging level, and it prevents cave-ins. Dumping spoil piles as far as possible from the area where you are working also helps to prevent cave-ins.
Using the propel motors located on the back of the machine increases your stability. Digging a shelf helps to keep the machine level whenever you are working on a slope. This creates a level surface. Always ensure that adequate swing clearance is created for when you are swinging down slope.
Keep the excavator bucket at right angles while backfilling cave-ins. Do not swing the cab or excavator bucket while you are loading a truck. Never try to remove mud from the bucket by hitting it against another machine.