To maintain a safe site for all construction workers, it’s important for excavator operators to follow best practices before, during, and after excavation.
- The operator should read, understand, and follow the operator’s manual.
- Consult the manual to determine maximum allowable slope for safe operation.
- Wear appropriate PPE as required by the task being preformed and as required per OSHA regulations.
- When refueling, bond the supply tank with the fuel tank to prevent static discharge and possible fire.
- Conduct a walk around inspection checking all fluids and noting any items needing maintenance and repair. Ensure all critical repairs are performed before operation.
- Ensure that bucket teeth have been barred if working around underground utilities.
- All controls should be operated with no load, until familiar with the machine function.
- Make sure all warning labels are legible. Those not legible must be cleaned or replaced.
- Remove debris and clutter in the cab that would prevent safe operation.
- Verify the fire extinguisher location. Check and verify it is operational. Make sure you are qualified to operate it.
- Use 3 points of contact to enter the machine.
- Get on the machine only at locations that have steps and/or handholds. If the machine has none, advise your supervisor immediately.
- Do not use any controls as handholds when entering or exiting the operator compartment.
- Check backup alarm for operation.
- Check to ensure the seat belt is operational. Always use the seat belt when operating the piece of equipment.
- Check that controls are in proper settings before starting machine.
- Only qualified personnel shall operate equipment. A qualified person through knowledge, skills, and experience has demonstrated their ability to operate the equipment.
- Verify that the one call (811) has been made and that utilities are marked and depth verified before the commencement of digging activities.
- Ensure that a spotter is used when working around overhead lines, underground utilities, and in tight working conditions.
- Work under the bucket shall be limited. No personnel shall be under the bucket while it is being raised or lowered.
- When the equipment is in operation, the doors (when installed) must be closed or secured by latch in the open position.
- Ensure there is room for the swing radius and bucket operation.
- Ensure there are no obstructions or ground people in the swing radius.
- When necessary to park on a grade, do so according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Equipment shall be kept as far away as practical from the side of excavation.
- Ensure mud mats are used in wetlands, when working over buried lines, and as needed.
- If the operator leaves the seat of the equipment, the bucket shall be lowered to the ground and the machine turned off.
- All unnecessary personnel shall be prohibited from the work area.
- Hand signals shall be given by one person and must be understood by all personnel on site.
- When moving the excavator, the bucket shall be lowered and curled in.
- When moving a load, proper lifting techniques shall be used.
- No riders shall be permitted.
- Do not operate this piece of equipment during stormy conditions. Seek shelter according to the company’s Emergency Action Plan.
- Park and set parking brake.
- Lower all hydraulics and set hydraulic lock out.
- Shut engine off, remove key, lock doors, and engage security system (if available).
- Use 3 points of contact to exit the machine.
At Ron Meyer & Associate Excavating, Inc, we’ve been providing underground and commercial construction to private and commercial businesses for 39 years. As the general contractor or subcontractor, our experienced foremen, equipment operators, pipe layers, truck drivers and well-maintained equipment fleet make us an undeniable choice for your excavating services. Let’s talk about your project!