Keep Safe Around Backhoes and Excavators

If you or someone you loves work around excavators and backhoes you know that it is a risky business: construction workers get killed or injured by these machines. The three major causes of injury are being, knocked over by the machine, being struck by the boom or some other part of the machinery, and being struck by an unexpected quick-release of the bucket from the excavator stick. Workers are also at risk from equipment rollovers and falls into trenches after a sudden cave-in.
Most of the backhoe and excavator injuries and deaths in the US construction industry could have been prevented by thorough training of equipment operators and workers working with them, the use of personal safety equipment, and responsible installation and regular maintenance of machinery. NIOSH, the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety presents a list of job-site safety practices that can prevent needless injuries and deaths.
Here are some of their Types Of Contractor recommendations:
Know your site. Before the machinery arrives on site, contact local utilities for exact location of overhead and underground utilities. Keep machinery away from overhead power lines. If you have to work near power lines, know the OSHA specs for safe clearances. Know the site grades and the grades on which each machine can operate safely. Never use machinery on a grade that exceeds the manufacturers’ specifications; you’re asking for a rollover. Stay away from trenches. Know the locations of trenches and other excavations on your site, and keep machinery away from them. Train your operators. All equipment operators should be fully trained to inspect and operate their equipment. New job sites and new tasks may require additional training. Maintenance. All equipment should be installed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, and maintained and serviced in compliance with the prescribed maintenance schedules. A properly maintained machine is far less likely to malfunction. Check quick-disconnect systems frequently. Operators should be trained to check the apparatus for quickly attaching and disconnecting a bucket from the excavator stick frequently, particularly after an attachment has been added or removed. Failure to spot a malfunction can cost a worker’s life. Label all controls. All machine controls should be clearly labeled in large, easy to read print. Know the load limits and stay within them. Operators should not agree to lift loads that exceed the machines safe limits. Worker awareness. Every worker on the job-site should be trained and alert to machinery’s swing areas, the area covered by the excavator or backhoe as the arm or the machine swings around. Workers should also know the operators’ visual range, where he can see and where his blind spots are. Before the machinery starts up, the swing area must be marked, whether with rope or flag or hazard tape, so that workers stay out of range. Extra caution when hoisting. Workers should be educated to stay out of the swing area when a machine is hoisting, and to never stand under a load, or under the boom, the arm, or the bucket Lower the bucket and turn off the machine before stepping away. Operators should never leave a machine running.
These safety procedures are simple, low-tech, and common sense. Following them every day Single House Plans on every job site can make the difference between a safe site and worker fatality.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed on a job-site, and you believe that unsafe practices with a backhoe or excavator contributed to the injury, you may have a claim against the employer, under the doctrine of workplace negligence. It is in your best interest to consult an experienced construction site lawyer as soon as possible. California has statutes of limitations, laws which limit the time period within which you may assert certain claims or file certain lawsuits. If you do not file your claim within the statutory time limit, your right to compensation can be forever lost.