Backhoe Safety Guidelines
Only authorized personnel are allowed to operate powered equipment.
Know the location and function of all machine controls.
Clear the area of other persons before you start the engine.
Check all controls in a safe area before you operate the machine.
Understand the limits of the machine.
Do not try to do too much too fast.
Keep the machine under control at all times.
Loose clothing and jewelry can cause an accident. Do not wear loose clothing or jewelry that
can catch on controls, etc. Do wear safety shoes, hard hat, heavy gloves, etc. When required
for your protection.
Holes, obstructions, debris, and other work area hazards can cause injury or death. Always
walk around and look for these and other hazards before you operate your machine in a new
Operate your controls from the operator’s seat only, and keep your hands on the controls
Do not permit other people to ride on the machine as passengers.
This machine uses an articulating joint. Keep all persons clear of this pinch area when the
engine is running. Machine movement can cause personal injury.
A machine out of control can cause injury or death. You must make a judgment if weather
and earth conditions will permit safe operation on a hill, ramp, or rough ground. Adjust
machine operation accordingly.
Before operating a backhoe in a confined or suspicious (dangerous) area, know the
limitations of the machine and the operator.
Make certain that the soil will support the weight of the machine when digging, especially
close to a bank or bluff.
Make certain stabilizers are set-up on stable soil before lifting anything heavy or performing
any other operations.
Never take anything for granted, just because you worked in an area the day before and all
was OK does not mean everything stayed the same overnight. Check carefully before an
accident takes place.
Always keep your machine clean and uncluttered by keeping all windows and glass clean so
that your view will not be obstructed and storing tools, etc. in the appropriate location.
Operating your machine in, on, or near a trench, high bank, or overhang is extra dangerous
and can cause injury or death.
The vibrations from this machine can cause the walls of a trench or high bank to collapse. If
you must operate this machine close to a trench or high bank, make sure the walls of the
trench or bank are braced. If you do not follow these instructions, you can cause personal
injury or death to persons working in these areas.
When mounting and dismounting, always watch for slippery surfaces and make use of the
handholds supplied by manufacturer.
Before moving your machine into an area, walk through and visually inspect to make certain
that there is nothing concealed in weeds, trash, etc. that could be hazardous.
Never dig in an area without first KNOWING what is under the ground where you intend
Make certain that you have overhead clearance for your boom when lifted at its highest
working height. Watch for overhead electrical wires. Backhoes make very good grounds for
an electrical discharge, so don’t let it discharge through you.
When digging a deep trench, an operator will need to slope or shore the sides to eliminate
the potential for a cave in.
Always wear your safety belt and other safety devises such as hardhats, steel-toed boots,
safety glasses, etc.
Cave-ins are common in some types of soil and an operator needs to know the type of soil
in which he/she is working.
Be conscious of other workers when swinging the boom and bucket around. Many injuries
occur like this. Don’t you be responsible for one of them.
As with any other piece of equipment, make certain that the brakes, steering, clutch, etc. are
working properly before beginning work.
Do not modify the ROLL OVER PROTECTION or any of the safety shields on any piece
Never work a machine at speeds to fast for the terrain or the conditions in which you are
Never forget. You are at the controls and are the one responsible for your safety and for the
safety of the workers around you.
Many operators are killed each year because of ‘roll-overs’, don’t you be one of them.
Be very cautious to not undermine your machine when digging close to the rear of the
machine. This is a fairly common occurrence especially with new operators.
Trenches must be shored or sloped, ‘by law’, when reaching a depth of 5’ (five feet) or more.
Never stockpile any soil closer than two (2’) feet from the edge of the trench.
Make certain that workers in a trench have escape access or ladder every twenty-five (25’)
Make certain when removing shoring systems that they are removed from the top to the
Never perform any operation that you know is dangerous!
Use good judgment and good old common sense and most accidents – injuries will be
When traveling, ensure that the brakes are pinned together to act as one pedal instead of
two. This will prevent uneven braking that can cause accidents.
Always mount equipment from the left side.
When setting an outrigger to secure parking, always set the left side outrigger so the next
operator will see the outrigger engaged as they mount the machine.
Adjust the parking break by turning the end of the handle and testing with machine weight
to ensure it is adjusted properly before dismounting the machine.
Notify your supervisor when you are sick, fatigued, or taking medication that may affect
your ability to safely operate machinery.