Lifting Operations – Overturned Excavator
At approximately 13.15 on the 23rd December 2021, an 8.4 tonne CAT tracked excavator overturned whilst lifting and slewing with a manhole trench box attached.
Thankfully no injuries were sustained, and no damage caused to plant or equipment.
The machine is capable of safely lifting the box, which with accessories weighed 1,412 Kg.
The investigation is ongoing but initial findings have determined that the arm of the excavator was outside the safe lifting parameters as defined by the Operators Manual.
We also still need to confirm other factors which appear to have influenced the incident, such as why the concrete drainage ring was left where it was, as this appears to have caused an obstruction.
- Review all lift plans and ensure they have been briefed and understood by all those involved in the lifting operation.
- Lift Plans must be available at the lift location for reference in case of any doubt.
- Ensure a nominated lift supervisor is clearly identified on the lift plan. For basic lifts this may be the Ganger or Slinger/Signaller when they hold the correct competency.
- If language is a barrier to effective communication, this must be mitigated by using an interpreter or bi-lingual co-worker. This has not yet been confirmed as a factor in this incident, but it is worthy of a reminder, nonetheless.
- The Supervisor responsible for the area of work must satisfy themselves that the lift plan is fit for purpose, all equipment and accessories are suitable for the task, in good order and that the scope of the plan is not exceeded.
- When planning lifts, plan for the area to be free from any obstructions
- If anything changes during a lift, STOP and seek advice from you Line Manager