As with all heavy equipment, an operator using an excavator must be aware of his surroundings at all times. He must also follow all safety precautions and protocols established for the site. This is essential for excavator safety and remaining accident free on the work site.
Prior to starting the excavator, a visual inspection should be performed as part of an excavator safety program. This inspection should include testing the horn and audible reverse alarm. It should also include an inspection for loose or broken parts that should be fixed prior to use.
Most accidents regarding excavator safety occur when an excavator comes in contact with a pedestrian worker. Workers can get hurt by being hit by an excavator when it is driving or lowering its bucket. The best way to avoid these types of accidents is to set up barriers to separate the excavator’s path and the path of workers on foot. These barriers should be a physical barrier (perhaps fencing) that will separate the excavator from the workers. When this is not possible a properly placed signaler must be used to ensure proper excavator safety is used when moving in these pedestrian areas.
Excavator safety is important to all people on the work site. As a result, all workers on the site should be trained regarding safety issues for that particular work site. Where are the uneven areas or high drop offs on the site? Are there power lines buried or over head, and if so, how are workers being alerted of them? It takes the support and awareness of the entire crew for a work site to attain truly effective excavator safety.