Latest Guidance on Lifting Operations With Excavators Now Available

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The Strategic Forum Plant Safety Group (SFPSG) has released a new refreshed plant safety guidance document entitled ‘Lifting Operations With 180⁰ and 360⁰ Excavators.’

 Taking into account the prolific use of excavators for lifting operations in the construction and allied sectors, the Strategic Forum Plant Safety Group has revised, expanded and updated the group’s original guidance publication which was first introduced in 2008. Additions to the original document are so widespread that the guidance has increased from seven pages to 72 pages.

The Strategic Forum Plant Safety Group was formed to produce good practice guidance on plant safety-based topics. Chaired by the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA), the SFPSG also has membership for this project from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), as well as significant representation from a range of construction and contracting companies, plant hirers, manufacturers and training organisations. This latest guidance adds to a number of Plant Safety Group publications on various topics, produced through subject-specific meetings by those from industry holding the relevant expertise.

 The new ‘Lifting Operations With 180⁰ and 360⁰ Excavators’ Good Practice Guide thoroughly sets out the precautions and procedures that should be taken into account when planning and carrying out lifting operations with 360⁰ tracked and wheeled excavators as well as 180⁰ excavators/backhoe loaders. The precautions and procedures specified in the publication should enable work to be carried out safely and in accordance with the law.

A core message within the guidance is that in terms of selection of lifting equipment, excavators are primarily designed for excavating and handling loose material rather than lifting suspended loads. The document advocates that an excavator should not be the first or only choice for lifting, even if it is already on site, is quicker and maybe more cost-effective than using another, more appropriate, pie