Home' ALGY : ALGY Edition 23 2016 Contents THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT YEARBOOK EDITION 23 • 273
EQUIPMENT + MACHINERY
All hoses must be free from damage and wear. Hoses located within the vicinity of operator position(s) must be considered
in light of the risk that hose and/or hydraulic oil could come in contact with the operator in the event of failure. Glass is not
considered an appropriate guarding material.
Firstly, determine what type of hitch is on the machine. Secondly, answer questions relating to the locking mechanism(s)
located on/in the hitch. Thirdly, consider the operation of the hitch controls in the cab (if relevant), and consider the safeguards
against accidental operation -- addressing the specific requirements set out in AS4772 Earthmoving Machinery -- Quick hitches
for excavators and backhoes. Lastly, if you're in New South Wales, consider the specific requirements of the revised WorkSafe
NSW Position Paper.
Access and egress
Working at heights
Consider risks associated with getting on and off the machine -- not just the operator area, but the engine area, as well. Key
things to look for include:
• Steps must be non-slip
• Steps must have step iron on the track assembly on any machine that has tracks higher than 400 millimetres
• Steps must have two handholds
• The area adjacent the engine cover will often need to be accessed to complete daily pre-op checks. If this is the case, it is
considered a work area, and two things must be considered:
• Is it non-slip?
• If the distance to the ground is greater than 1.8 metres, is there fall protection (generally a handrail)?
Does the machine have a point from which to lift freely suspended loads?
This is generally on the front of the quick hitch (if one is fitted). If this is present, then there are four requirements as prescribed
by AS1418.8 Cranes, hoists and special purpose appliances (section 5).
• Lifting point must be 'closed eye' type; hooks are not acceptable
• Must have a rated capacity label adjacent the lifting point, generally on each side of the dipper arm
• Must have a lifting chart adjacent the operator work position
• If the rated capacity is greater than 1 tonne, controlled lowering devices must be fitted to the hydraulic cylinders on both
the boom and the dipper arm
Neutral start control
In order to prevent unintended movement at start-up, a neutral start control is a requirement for any machine; however, on
excavators you must ensure that both travel and other operation controls are deactivated when start-up is taking place. Many
machines isolate the upper carriage controls only, allowing for travel during start-up. It is important when testing neutral start
controls to ensure that no-one can be injured if the machine is to move/operate when the test is undertaken. We recommend
setting up an exclusion zone and using a spotter.
While there are extensive label requirements for most machines, the two key labels on an excavator are:
• Overhead power (complete with table outlining approach distances to varying voltage lines)
• Dial before you dig
These are key risk areas, as a potential consequence of contact with overhead or underground services is death.
FOPS (falling objects)
TOPS (tip over)
Excavators used to be considered exempt from ROPS. The reasoning behind this is a little complicated, and related to the
wording of AS2294 Earthmoving Machinery -- Protective Structures. References to this standard have now been deleted from
WHS legislation, and new provisions have been introduced into the states and territories that have adopted harmonised
legislation (regulations 215 and 217). Plant Assessor requires consideration of a number of specific ISO standards covering
these controls. These essentially require the inspector to locate and read the manufacturer's plate to determine to what
standards the cabin or other structure is compliant. If you cannot find the compliance plate, then you must consider the cabin
to be non-compliant. If a machine is not fitted with these protective structures, then each time the machine is moved to a new
job or site, a risk assessment must be undertaken that considers rollover, falling objects and tipping.
Lights, beacon and
As with all machines, visibility is critical. The operator needs to be able to see in low-light situations, and personnel working
in the vicinity of the machine need to be aware of the machine's presence and movement. If any light or the machine's
movement alarm is damaged, not working or missing, then it is not compliant.
As with all machine inspections, looking for and identifying structural damage is as important as it is difficult. Talking with the
operator and maintenance staff is one simple way to unearth damage that you might not see.
If any damage is discovered, then a risk assessment must be carried out to consider whether any action is required.
Follow these steps:
• Identify if the damage has created any hazards
• Consider the consequence of the hazard, and the likelihood that the hazard could do harm
• Consider an appropriate risk treatment
• Put a strategy in place for monitoring.
Links Archive ALGY Edition 24 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page