What you need to know

This page covers safe working practices for operating tracked 360° excavators and walking excavators in forestry and other tree work.

When the machine is used for lifting, the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) will apply. In some cases (eg cable crane operations or lowering culvert pipes) the excavator may need to have a current certificate of thorough examination in accordance with the Regulations.

What you need to do

Before work starts, your risk assessment should identify the suitability of the machine for the site and the task.

The operator is at risk of falling during on-site maintenance and refuelling. You need to set up suitable means of access and safe working positions.

You also need to include the following in your risk assessment'

  • site conditions;
  • terrain;
  • the weather;
  • operation and parking of the machine;
  • maintenance;
  • transport;
  • preparation to work; and
  • emergency procedures.

All operators must receive appropriate training in how to operate the machine and how to do the tasks required. A relevant NPTC FMOC qualification should be obtained for the type of excavator work being done.

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