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Safety Checklist: Earthmoving Plant in Construction

SafeWork NSW

Version:  2022.  (Current)
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Principal contractors (PCs) and people conducting business or undertaking (PCBUs) have a duty to provide and maintain a working environment that is safe and without risks to health and safety. This includes ensuring proper planning, consultation and communication, safe systems of work, the right safety equipment at the right time and plant that is adequately maintained.

Excavation work is an integral activity for any construction project, and increasingly over the years has seen a rising rate of incidents and fatalities. High risk work licences are no longer required for earth moving plant such as excavators, front end loaders, bulldozers, leaving the onus of responsibility on the PCBU to ensure the competency of the operator. The major risks related to earthmoving plant are hitting services, plant hitting people and plant overturning. Businesses must fulfil Before You Dig Australia (BYDA) requirements before any excavation work is carried out.

This earthmoving plant in construction safety checklist is designed to help identify potential issues or risks associated with earthmoving operations including planning, consultation and hazard identification, falling objects, site conditions and equipment maintenance. It is NOT intended to be exhaustive, and reference should be made to appropriate legislation, standards, Codes of Practice and Guides.

On-the-spot fines of up to $3,600 for businesses may be issued to those placing workers lives at risk by not providing adequately protection against risk of falling, not obtaining underground services information, and or not obtaining safe work method statements.

If you answer no to any of the following questions, you may be in breach of your duties under the work health and safety legislation, or its associated Codes of Practice.

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