Brothers and Sisters,

This month’s safety corner discusses quick coupler safety.

Quick couplers, commonly used on construction equipment, allow for the rapid change of buckets and other attachments. While they can save time on the job site, it’s essential to consider the danger of quick coupler devices. It has been known for many years now that quick couplers can pose a danger to ground workers who are working around the equipment. There have been multiple fatalities in the industry due to the unexpected release of an attachment due to the quick coupler device opening up or failing.

Best Practices to Avoid Unexpected Releases While Using Quick Coupler Devices

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the installation, maintenance, and use of these devices.
  • Inspect quick coupler devices before use. Look for locking pins or other safety devices that will prevent an unexpected release of a bucket or attachment. Ensure both the device as well as the safety devices are properly installed and functioning.
  • Never allow ground personnel to work directly under or close to an excavator bucket or attachment, even if there are safety pins in the quick coupler device. Avoiding the line of fire ensures that no one will be in the area where the bucket lands if something does fail.
  • Communicate to fellow coworkers when quick coupler devices are used, so they are aware of the additional hazard while working around the excavator.

In summary, while quick couplers enhance efficiency, operators must prioritize safety protocols to prevent accidents and protect lives on construction sites.

I hope you have a safe and productive construction season,

Peter Carpenter
Co-Safety Officer