What is Included in a Digger Derrick Safety Program?

 A digger derrick is a piece of equipment (truck) used to dig holes, set poles, and work with a variety of materials.  Like all industrial equipment, employees, the equipment, and the surrounding environment must adhere to safety measures.  Therefore, companies operating such equipment require a safety program.  Let’s explore what is included in a digger derrick safety program.

Skills and Knowledge

Employees operating this equipment undergo training to develop the necessary skills and knowledge.  Assessments evaluate their proficiency in operating the digger derrick or associated equipment. This initial step ensures safety.

Digger derrick operators operate the equipment safely, efficiently, and effectively by possessing the required skills and knowledge, ensuring the well-being of themselves and those working around them. Ongoing training and experience further enhance their capabilities and contribute to becoming skilled and competent operators.

Load Capacity

Load capacity refers to the maximum amount of weight or load a piece of equipment can safely support or carry without causing damage or compromising its integrity.

Before operating a digger derrick, operators review load capacity charts to determine the truck’s capabilities, including weight limits, height limits, and working distances. These charts are also consulted when calculating boom length, extension, radius, and angle.

Exceeding the load capacity leads to structural failures, accidents, or damage to the equipment or infrastructure, posing risks to personnel and property.

Pre-Travel Inspections

To prioritize safety, comply with regulations, maintain the vehicle’s condition, enhance efficiency, and uphold a positive reputation, pre-travel truck inspections are essential. These inspections are conducted before driving and/or operating the digger derrick.

During pre-travel inspections, operators check for hydraulic leaks, and damaged components, and ensure that all items, such as the boom, jib, auger, winch, winch line, capstan, pole puller, and pole guides, are stowed and secured correctly for safe travel.

Stowing and Unstowing

Stowing and unstowing operations involve raising and lowering the boom, securing attachments, and preparing the equipment for transport or work. Safety is paramount during these operations to prevent accidents, injuries, and damage to the equipment.

During stowing or unstowing, operators review all auger components, including the motor, extension shaft, and latch. Additionally, they use a 45° angle with low-speed controls and retract all booms.

Auger Operators

Auger operator safety is crucial to prevent accidents and injuries during operations. Typically, augers are operated by one person at a time to minimize the risk of accidents and injuries.

Skilled operators use proper hand signals and maintain three-way communication. They coordinate controls, address corkscrew issues, determine soil conditions, and clean and prepare the auger for travel.

Power Take-Off (PTO)

Power take-off (PTO) procedures involve engaging and disengaging the PTO system, which transfers power from the truck’s engine to operate the digger and other auxiliary equipment.

All operators follow PTO procedures, including the proper usage of the operational brake, effective engagement and disengagement of the PTO, and monitoring of engine gauges while in use. The specific procedures may vary depending on the make and model of the digger derrick truck.

In conclusion, it is crucial all digger derrick operators refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and follow any additional safety guidelines your organization provides. Adhering to industry best practices and applicable regulations ensures the safe and proper operation of the digger derrick truck.

author avatar
Amber Hebert

About Safety Procedure Systems

Safety Procedure Systems provides custom-built safety compliance programs for businesses of all types through our self-service platform. We also provide full-service management of ISN®, Avetta®, Veriforce®, and other compliance accounts for contractors.

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