Power diggers are professional digging machines which are often used by gardeners or on construction sites. Usually powered by a petrol engine, they are sometimes known as rotators and are a labour-saving device which saves workers time and energy.
Accidents caused by power diggers
As with any construction equipment, there is a risk of being involved in an accident if you do not follow safety instructions when operating a power digger or being in the vicinity of one. The machine vibrates, so could cause Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) if used for long periods without a break. Long hair or loose clothing can become tangled in moving parts, and lacerations or broken bones can occur if fingers or other body parts become trapped in the mechanism. Burns can also occur, as the equipment and engine get very hot whilst in use. There is also a risk of hearing damage, so ear defenders should always be worn.
Safe operation of a power digger
When using a power digger, you should always ensure that you have received the appropriate training in its operation. As well as your training, there are certain rules that you should follow for safe operation:
- Ensure equipment is well maintained – regularly check moving parts and check fuel level when the engine is cool and the digger is on level ground
- Always ensure that you wear ear defenders and that anyone in the vicinity does too
- Avoid wearing loose clothing and tie back long hair
- Wear PPE such as gloves and safety boots
- Clean the digger after each use before soil has the opportunity to harden, and ensure it is stored somewhere dry
- Diggers are heavy – always get help when lifting one
- Keep your feet and hands well away from moving parts
- Most diggers have a petrol engine and so should never be used indoors
- Never leave a power digger unattended whilst it’s running
- If adjustments need to be made, turn off and wait for the moving parts to stop and engine to cool down first
- Ensure the soil has been prepared and cleared of debris and is in a suitable condition before starting work
- Tilt the digger back if it becomes stuck in one position whilst operating
Following the above rules will help you to operate a power digger safely.
Accidents at work involving power diggers
Unfortunately, accidents can happen even if the operator adheres to the safety rules, but if you feel someone else was responsible for your accident at work, call Accident Advice Helpline to see if you could be eligible to claim for compensation – our 100% no win, no fee* service means there are no expensive fees to pay upfront. Call us free on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone for free, no obligation advice about making a claim.
Date Published: March 3, 2014
Author: David Brown