Backhoes are essential in many of the tasks performed in a variety of industries including commercial and residential construction, farming and road building. The equipment is extremely complex and powerful, and requires effective safety equipment and adequate training to minimize the potential of injuries or death. When the operator ignores precautions, or the equipment has a manufacturing or design defect, catastrophic injuries or death can result.
Of all equipment used in the construction industry today, backhoes are the most utilized an effective for digging holes, trenches or excavation. Numerous types of backhoe accidents can occur. The most common include:
- Injuries to working bystanders caused by backhoe arm movement
- Injuries and death caused by run overs
- Crushing or pinning working bystanders with the backhoe’s front loader bucket
- Equipment rollovers when the stabilizing outriggers are not properly positioned
- Electrocution or other electrical accident caused by the book in an arm hitting live electrical wires
Weight Load Capacities that Can Impact the Safety of Backhoes
Based on the weight, size and dimension of the backhoe, it has a specific weight load capacity rating issued by the manufacturer. It is designed and manufactured to lift a load up to a specific weight. When overloaded, the excess weight can cause backhoe instability while in operation, placing the operator and bystanders in harm’s way. It is essential to avoid lifting loads beyond the weight low capacity of the unit.
Many accidents are the result of defective machinery that are either improperly designed or manufactured incorrectly. However, when operating the equipment with an overloaded elevated bucket during a sharp turn or on uneven ground, the operator can easily lose control the vehicle causing an accident with injuries or fatalities. Other serious accidents involve improper transport of the backhoe, poorly maintained equipment, striking other objects, or missing safety features.
Backhoe Safety Tips
When operating a backhoe, it is essential to follow specific safety tips to minimize the potential of an accident with injuries or death. These effective safety tips include:
- Develop a Safety Zone – Never operate the equipment when others are in the work safety zone. This is because the boom and bucket can move unexpectedly, striking others and causing injuries or death.
- One-Person Operation – To maximize safety, no passenger should ride with the operator or on any portion of the backhoe including the buckets and lift arms.
- Avoid Dangers – Because of the agility of a backhoe, it is easy to become entangled in utility lines, hit obstructions like tree stumps, or rollover into ditches. Mark these areas prior to digging
- Inspect the Machinery – Before operating the backhoe, it is essential to inspect all components. Keeping the equipment well maintained can maximize the backhoe’s performance while minimizing the potential of accidents.
- Use the Seat Belt – Operating a backhoe can be a bumpy ride, where the operator can easily fall out of the seat if not properly secured by the seat belt.
The best safety tip is to ensure that only trained professionals and authorized workers use the backhoe. An inexperienced operator at the controls poses the biggest potential risk of causing injuries or death at the worksite.
Legal Options for Compensation for an Accident With a Backhoe
If you, or a loved one, are the victim of a serious accident caused by a backhoe on a worksite, it is essential to speak with a personal injury attorney today. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers are well versed in handling backhoe accident claims and workers’ compensation benefits to ensure that every injured victim receives the compensation they deserve.
Your injuries or the death of a loved one caused by a backhoe accident likely entitles you to receive compensation. Our dedicated team of attorneys untangle the confusion of what happened at the accident site, determine the liability of every negligent party and identify every source of financial recovery available. Our law firm handles every aspect of your case to allow you time and energy to focus on healing.
To schedule your free, initial consultation to evaluate your case, call our law firm at (888) 424-5757 today. We provide honest answers and the best legal advice on how to move your case forward. We have access to all necessary resources and years of experience in pursuing maximum compensation to cover all of your expenses including medical bills, hospitalization costs, lost wages, pain, suffering, disfigurement and other damages.