Edwards, David J. and Holt, Gary David
New stability field tests for construction excavators.
Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 16
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09699980910970833
Purpose – The extensive use of mini-excavators in construction presents a significant health and safety risk from their tendency to become unstable, or in the extreme to roll-over, under certain working conditions. No standard exists to specifically assess excavator stability, so the purpose of this paper is to document the development and trial of a series of practical field tests designed to achieve this.
Design/methodology/approach – Tests were designed in collaboration with a group of plant experts and competent operators. The tests were subsequently trialled by applying them to four mini-excavators, the aim being to see if these plant items could be reliably assessed in terms of their stability characteristics. Results of the study were presented to H&S experts for comment.
Findings – The tests were able to assess mini-excavator stability. For each machine, five “stability criteria” were scored thereby producing an overall score, by which mini-excavator stability could be conveniently represented.
Research implications – No previous field test research has been identified in this area. The results produced here may go some way towards developing an international standard for on-site stability tests.
Practical implications – The tests are easy to apply at the work site so long as performed by competent persons under appropriately risk-assessed and risk controlled conditions; and if disseminated to industry, could act as a means of standardising mini-excavator stability tests until such time an International Standard becomes available.
Originality/value – Research in this area is entirely novel.
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