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Health and Safety Tips for Operating Excavating Machinery

Any industry that involves the operation of heavy machinery is incredibly dangerous, which is why a strict set of rules should be adhered to. Provided that the rules are respected, nobody should run into any problems. However, for those who are careless and ignore these rules, accidents can happen. 

In any case, we’re going to take you through some handy health and safety tips, so that you can confidently operate excavating machinery. We’ll split these tips into three sections: before, during and after-operation.

Health & safety before operation: 

  • You should always strap in using the seat-belt provided. Certainly, you’re not going to be racing around a track, however it’s important for comfort and safety
  • Check your mirrors! You need to know what’s going on around you at all times
  • Double check that all controls are in working order before firing her up
  • Ensure that the propel system is operational 
  • Always have the site mapped for utility pipes and lines before beginning excavation

Heath & safety during operation: 

  • Under no circumstances should you allow anyone into the bucket. This kind of behaviour is how serious accidents happen
  • You should only ever operate the excavator machine when seating in the control pod 
  • Slow it right down when operating on rough terrain 
  • When moving from one point of the site to the other, choose the flattest route with the least amount of obstacles 
  • Always carry the bucket low to the ground in order to maintain proper balance 
  • Never move up a slope in a diagonal direction
  • When you move down a slope, ensure that the bucket is low to the ground (this will prevent the excavator from tipping over) 
  • Steering should be done slowly and gradually 
  • When digging a trench, you need the digger to remain as level as possible. You can do this by placing dirt between the tracks, thus preventing the vertical trench from caving in
  • Soil should be piled up as far away from an excavation as possible 
  • If you are excavating on a hill, first you should dig out an even level for your machine to operate on. Following that, all dirt should be placed down hill to create an even lower surface
  • Under no circumstance should you ever dig underneath your excavating machine
  • Do not attempt to clean the bucket by smashing it into the ground

Health & safety when finished: 

  • Always park on a level surface when you are finishing with the excavating machine 
  • If you wish to cool the turbo-charger, then you must switch auto-idle mode off and run your engine using half-throttle for a short while. Ensure that you are not carrying a load when doing this 
  • Before turning the engine off, you must set the RPM to a low idle setting 
  • Lock up the cab when you exit the machine, and keep the key in a safe place for extra security 


Again, provided that you adhered to these rules, you should never run into any problems. When operating heavy machinery, you should always pay extra care. Keep this in mind the next time you get to work. Alternatively, if you’re looking for assistance with your excavation requirements, then you should hire a company like Webers Excavations to help you. There are many reputable companies out there, so do your research and always be safe.

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