MSHA excavator accident safety alert

MSHA issued a Serious Accident Alert  following an accident with an excavator at a surface crushed and broken limestone quarry.

A supervisor positioned the tracks of a hydraulic excavator in such a manner that it caused the machine to overturn as he was moving it.  1

Though the supervisor sustained an injury to his shoulder, more serious injuries would have been likely had he not been using his seatbelt.

Best practice

  • When traveling on a slope, an excavator should be driven straight up and down the slope at low speed and should not be driven across the slope
  • For maximum stability while at work on a slope, the crawlers or wheels and the undercarriage of the excavator should be placed parallel to the slope and not across the slope2
  • Confirm that equipment is kept as far away as practical from the side of excavation
  • Check to ensure the seat belt is operational.  Always use the seat belt when operating the piece of equipment
  • Only qualified personnel shall operate equipment.  A qualified person is one who has demonstrated their ability to operate the equipment through knowledge, skills, and experience.
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