The company EHS Department has reviewed and put up a case study relating to the use of excavator to transport steel plates. This case study was presented to the EHS Committee in recent meeting for feedback and recommendation.

1. Background

In many construction sites, although excavators are not designed to transport or shift steel plates into its position; yet they are used commonly for that purpose.

Recent accident in MCE C487 (dated 16 July’10), previous incident at Down Town Line 1 – Bayfront project (dated 11 May 2009) and also other excavator related incident / near-miss have shown the importance to review the subject.

In doing so, the EHS committee would like to particularly examine above practice on the use of excavator on site; and afterwards to propose recommendations to address the issue.

2. Review and Analysis

In the review of the cases, the EHS Team would like to approach the issues, as follow:

A. Not using excavator (OPTION A)

  1. Elimination
    • To prohibit the use of excavator to transport steel plates on site.
    • Issue out a memo from management to site.
  2. Substitution
    • To alternatively use crane to transport steel plates.

B. Remain the use of excavator (OPTION B)

  1. Engineering control
    • Deepen the side jaw on excavator bucket (e.g. to 4 cm or more) so that the placement of steel plates would be firm.
  2. Administration control
    • Conduct review of the current Risk Assessment and SWP.
    • Establish a check list for the use of excavator and work supervision.
    • Regular briefing on the RA and SWP prior to work – maintain proper record.
  3. PPE
    • As per standard requirement.
3. Conclusion

As thoroughly discussed by the committee, it is concluded that the use of excavator shall only for shifting of steel plates; NOT for carrying and travelling of any object. Thus, option B remains.

Presented by EHS Department (24 June 2010)