Quick hitches - safe use through best practice
By Lindsay Gale09 February 2010
The UK's Strategic Forum for Construction has produced a Best Practice Guide covering the safe use of quick hitches on hydraulic excavators, published by the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA), which is available free of charge for download at www.cpa.uk.net/p/Quick-Hitches/.
The guidance document is intended to provide information related to the safe use of quick hitches, including topics such as planning, equipment selection, training, safe use, maintenance inspection and examination.
The guide stresses that in managing the use of this type of equipment, it is essential that all aspects of the process are taken into account, including the selection of the appropriate equipment for the application, planning its use by competent personnel, monitoring of work and rectification of any issues. If any single aspect is ignored, the chance of an accident occurring increases significantly, putting both the machine operator and others in the vicinity at risk.
In recent years, a number of accidents have occurred, some of which have resulted in deaths on site, which could have been prevented by the correct use of the equipment, effective maintenance and appropriate inspection. The SFC's guide is intended to provide a straightforward, comprehensive and easy to adopt route to achieving best practice.