Excavators should not be used under any circumstances for the lifting of persons as they are primarily designed for excavating with a bucket and consequently are capable of operating speeds and movements which make them totally unsuitable for the lifting of persons.
Access to height on construction sites should be by machines designed for the purpose of lifting persons such as MEWPs, mast climbing work platforms, suspended access platforms or passenger/goods hoists, or by the use of scaffolds.
In special cases where an approach by less dangerous means is not reasonably feasible, a suitable crane with a manned basket may be used. The regulation requires lifting operations to be properly planned, properly supervised, and carried out in a safe manner, and this includes the use of earthmoving machinery for lifting operations.
Supervisors should first carry out a risk assessment, which includes ensuring that the earthmoving machinery is suitable for the task, that there are sufficient lifting accessories available, and that ground conditions are suitable.
The lifting accessories, including quick hitches, should be suitable for the load and marked with their safe working load. The risk assessment will also address the need to segregate the lifting operation from other persons on site. Based on this risk assessment, a written method statement setting out the safe operating procedure to be followed should be prepared and communicated to all personnel involved in the lifting operation.
Lifting accessories, including quick hooks, should be suitable for the load and marked with their safe working load. The risk assessment will also address the need to isolate the lifting operation from other personnel on-site. Based on this risk assessment, a written method statement describing the safe operating procedures to be followed should be prepared and communicated to all personnel involved in the lifting operation.
Special accessories for lifting (or other uses) should be compatible with the machines and connections to which they are attached (quick connects). Competent personnel should verify that the combination is designed to carry the load in this manner.
Before lifting operations begin, all personnel involved must be fully aware of the key findings of the risk assessment, the method statement, and their individual roles in performing the task.
Supervisors should ensure that personnel is kept away from the lifting area, especially if no one is working underneath the elevator, for example in a trench. Personnel should wear high visibility clothing and other appropriate PPE. excavator operators should not move the machine or load until they are satisfied that the spreader/signaller and any other personnel associated with the lift are all out of the danger area and in a safe position.
Lifting accessories, including lifting points, should be inspected by the hoist or operator prior to use to ensure they are not damaged or worn. Any defective lifting accessories should be stopped immediately.
Chain slings should not have any twisted links or parts, hooks should not be bent, and safety clips should be in working condition. Fiber slings should be rejected when damaged, and in any case when the outer covering is worn to the extent that the inner core is visible.
If the hooking device (the point on the machine designed to attach the load) is not part of the bucket, the bucket should (where possible, unless otherwise stated by the operator) be removed to improve visibility and reduce the weight being lifted. If the bucket is retained, the weight of both the bucket and the quick connector must be added to the load when determining if the load is within rated capacity.
When attaching a lifting sling to a hooking device or lifting point, care should be taken to ensure that the sling and excavator attachments are always free to hang. For example, if a pipe suspended from a sling is rotated end-to-end, the use of a shackle for the connection may limit rotation.