5 Common Safety Hazards When Operating Excavators

Safety is paramount in every aspect of work and production. While operating excavators, dangers lurk at every turn. Here, we summarize some common safety hazards to help enhance workplace safety awareness.

Resting Hand on Door Frame When Descending Slopes:
Inclining excavators for descent may seem routine, but it poses a significant risk if not approached cautiously. Many drivers tend to rest their left hand on the door frame while operating the machine with their right hand. If the door is left open and unlatched, gravity can swiftly slam it shut with considerable force, potentially causing severe hand injuries. Therefore, it's imperative to ensure that the excavator cabin door is securely locked at all times, regardless of its position.

Elevating Boom Excessively While Moving:
Some novices may mistakenly believe that raising the excavator's boom to its maximum height with the bucket fully extended enhances visibility while maneuvering. However, this practice is highly perilous as it raises the center of gravity, making the machine prone to tipping over on uneven terrain. It's crucial to prioritize caution over the desire for better visibility, focusing instead on maintaining a clear view of the ground ahead.

Operating on Soft Ground Without Testing:
Before operating on marshy or sandy terrain, it's essential to assess ground stability by testing it with the bucket's edge. Failure to do so may result in severe consequences, including getting the excavator stuck in mud. To mitigate this risk:

Test the ground with the bucket edge before proceeding.
Avoid prolonged stops in the same area.
Minimize turns and opt for straight-line movements.
Blind Spots and Importance of Mirrors:
Excavator cabins are positioned on the left side, creating significant blind spots on the right, particularly in the rear. Many accidents occur due to the machine's rear right side striking individuals during rotation. To mitigate this risk:

Stay as far left as possible when working in narrow spaces to create more clearance on the right side.
Ensure mirrors are intact and properly adjusted, especially the right-side mirror, which is often neglected.
Working on Trenches with Unstable Heights:
Excavating trenches may require adjustments in height, but blindly following instructions from ground personnel can be hazardous. If instructed to extend over an unstable trench, drivers must exercise caution and use independent judgment. Reversing for half a track length is typically safe, but further extension risks collapse and potential entrapment. Never heed instructions to proceed beyond safe limits, as safety should always take precedence over project progress.

Operating excavators demands not only technical skill but also a keen awareness of safety protocols. By recognizing and mitigating these common hazards, operators can contribute to a safer working environment and uphold professional integrity.

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