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    EXCAVATOR QUICK HITCH GUIDANCE

    Industry body issues Guide to excavator quick hitch safety

    The quick hitch (QH) is designed to save time when changing excavator buckets. 

    When used properly it can reduce the risk of injury through manual handling and crushing during bucket changing.

    However, in recent years have been fatalities involving use of a QH where the bucket has become inadvertently detached. 

    Industry body guide has HSE backing 

    The Strategic Forum for Construction (SFfC) Plant Group has now issued it’s definitive Guide to ‘Safe use of quick hitches on excavators’ – Ref CPA1001 February 2010.

    The Guide provides information on best practice in the management and use of QH’s on UK construction sites.

    The document has been prepared by the industry group with support from HSE.

    The guide stresses that it is essential that in managing the use of quick hitches, adequate attention is paid to all aspects of the process.

    If any one aspect is ignored the probability on an incident will increase significantly, putting both the machine operator and people in the vicinity at risk.

    Guide covers all aspects of quick hitch safety

    All aspects of QH safety are covered including:

    • planning and equipment selection;
    • selection and training of personnel;
    • provision of information and familiarisation;
    • safe use, maintenance, inspection, thorough examination and;
    • monitoring the whole process.

    The advice is based on the current state of the art of quick hitch design.

    As new designs are developed the Guide will be updated to reflect any such changes to the state of the art.

    Whilst the document is aimed specifically at the construction industry it will benefit other sectors of industry where quick hitches are used.

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