Industry takes action on semi-automatic quick hitches from 1 October 2008

HSE has confirmed that European manufacturers have voluntarily agreed to cease supply of semi-automatic quick hitches into the UK. The agreement comes after discussions between HSE and industry and will be effective as of 1 October 2008.

After four fatal incidents in the twelve month period between December 2006 and November 2007, all involving semi automatic quick hitches, HSE began talks with quick hitch manufacturers, excavator manufacturers and others to highlight the problem with semi-automatic quick hitches and look for potential solutions.

Industry has been supportive throughout these discussions, and as a result all manufacturers have agreed to stop supplying this type of quick hitch as of 1 October 2008.

What this means for users of quick hitches

  • The agreement will mean that in the future when buying a quick hitch only manual or automatic quick hitches will be available.
  • This does not mean that all semi automatic hitches will be illegal as of 1 October 2008. When used in accordance with manufacturer's instructions semi automatic quick hitches can still be used safely.
  • Owners and users should still be able to order spare parts for current semi automatic hitches from manufacturers.

Background information

HSE Safety Alert on Quick Hitches (issued 17 December 2007)

Is this page useful?