The Safety Knowledge of Excavator Construction

Work production prioritizes safety. In the process of excavator operation, dangers abound. Below are some safety concerns based on personal work experience, hoping to aid others in their work:

  1. Holding onto the Door Frame When Descending Slopes Excavators possess strong off-road capabilities. With the coordination of tracks and working devices, they can climb steep slopes or descend with ease. However, a commonly overlooked danger arises when the excavator descends slopes or trailers. Due to the forward tilt of the machine body, many drivers habitually push against the windshield or door frame with their left hand while operating the excavator's movement with their right hand. If the door is open and not locked, the force of gravity can swiftly close it with significant impact, risking serious injury to hands caught between.

    Therefore, when operating an excavator, ensure that the cabin door is securely locked whether open or closed. Drivers should avoid holding onto the door frame whenever possible.

  2. Raising the Boom While Moving Some novices or apprentices may believe that raising the boom to its maximum height, fully extending the dipper arm, and pointing the bucket upwards provides better visibility when moving. However, this practice is highly dangerous. Due to the raised working device, the center of gravity is elevated, increasing the risk of overturning on uneven terrain.

    Hence, it's crucial to refrain from risky maneuvers and prioritize careful observation of the ground ahead.

  3. Operating on Soft Ground When excavators operate on marshes, riverbanks, or other soft ground, it's essential to test the ground's ability to support the machine's weight using the bucket before proceeding. Neglecting this procedure can lead to severe consequences. Although excavators are designed with tracks for increased surface contact, incidents of them getting stuck in mud are not uncommon. However, such mishaps are avoidable with proper precautions. When working on soft ground, remember to: 1. Conduct a bucket test. 2. Avoid prolonged stays in one spot. 3. Minimize turns and prioritize straight paths.

    In case the excavator becomes stuck in mud, remain calm. Never attempt to use incline techniques to escape, as this will worsen the situation. Instead, various rescue methods can be employed: 1. If the entrapment is not severe, dig out the space between the tracks and try again. 2. If unsuccessful, ascertain the depth of the mud. If not too deep, clear the mud ahead, creating a path toward solid ground. 3. If the mud is too deep, consider using metal plates or road base plates to place under the tracks for easy extraction.

  4. Blind Spots Excavator cabins are situated on the left side, with the view obstructed by the boom, resulting in a significant blind spot, especially to the rear right. Many accidents involving excavators occur when rotating the machine, causing injury or death to individuals in the rear right area. Therefore, when working in confined spaces, position the excavator as far left as possible to create more space on the right side.

    Rearview mirrors on excavators are fragile and prone to damage during work or transportation. Some drivers may dismiss the importance of timely replacement, considering them unimportant. However, rearview mirrors, particularly on the right side, are crucial for safety, and accidents often occur due to insufficient safety awareness.

  5. Working on Trenches When excavating trenches, if the construction worker informs you that the elevation in front is incorrect and instructs you to work on top of the trench again, do not comply. Regardless of geological conditions, you should not drive back more than half the width of the track. There's a risk of collapse if you continue. The construction worker may insist on proceeding. Don't listen, as they are more concerned with the trench than your safety. A qualified driver should have independent thinking and safety awareness as basic professional ethics.

  6. Pipelines Every city has a complex underground pipeline network. When excavators work in urban areas, special attention must be paid to underground pipelines. Damaging or rupturing pipelines is hazardous, especially when the location and depth of pipelines are unknown, as is often the case. Therefore, drivers must be particularly attentive during work. As pipelines are typically buried by excavators first, we can make some estimations and judgments about their locations based on experience. Generally, pipelines run parallel to roads or are located in road bases or green belts, and manhole covers indicate their paths. Typically, a single road contains various pipelines, with deeper ones for rainwater and sewage, traditionally made of cement pipes, now mostly corrugated pipes. Shallow ones are for water supply and gas, with water pipes being thick cast iron in the past but now mostly PE pipes. Even shallower are power and communication lines, typically protected by PVC pipes on the outside with cables or optical fibers inside. Water, electricity, and gas are all hazardous. If you accidentally damage military optical cables, the consequences are severe. Therefore, extra caution is necessary when operating in urban areas.

    When burying pipelines, sand is typically used for protection and compaction on both sides. Therefore, if an excavator suddenly digs up pure sand or encounters loose soil with a different color during urban operations, it's highly likely that there's a pipeline nearby. Fragile materials like corrugated pipes or PVC pipes require manual handling.

    Additionally, pipelines are not always underground but may be overhead. A common mistake made by novices is to focus entirely on the excavator's bucket, unaware that the boom cylinder has already touched the wires when raising. When encountering overhead wires, regardless of their type, first check for insulation. It's okay to lightly touch insulated wires, but non-insulated wires must not be touched as they will break and may damage the cylinder. If the cylinder rod is electrocuted, do not retract it immediately, as this will damage the oil seal. Instead, use extremely fine sandpaper or specialized tools to polish it. If it's a high-voltage wire, maintain a safe distance.

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