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VIDEO: Is Your Quick Coupler Safe, Compliant?

Thu June 24, 2021 - National Edition
Geith


The development of quick coupler related safety standards such as ISO 13031 Earth-Moving Machinery - Quick Couplers - Safety, has been a game changer across the global construction sector.
The development of quick coupler related safety standards such as ISO 13031 Earth-Moving Machinery - Quick Couplers - Safety, has been a game changer across the global construction sector.

For construction contractors, equipment dealers and manufacturers, safety should be the number one responsibility. Protecting employees and customers is not negotiable and must be the number one priority in the decision-making process.

Every day, across the world, buckets fall from machines causing serious injury and even fatalities. As reported by OSHA, this is frequently caused by buckets disengaging unintentionally from excavator quick couplers. Geith believes it's everyone's responsibility in this industry to prevent these accidents from happening.

From its experiences it has found that there are three main reasons why buckets accidently fall from excavators when using a non-compliant ISO 13031 quick coupler:

1. Misconnection

If using a quick coupler without a front lock and misconnection occurs (the operator doesn't attach the bucket correctly) the bucket may fall from the quick coupler when operations begin.

2. Cylinder failure / Loss of hydraulic pressure

If using a quick coupler that relies on hydraulic pressure to engage the attachment and the quick coupler loses hydraulic pressure through a leak or cylinder failure, the engagement system can gradually open causing the bucket to fall unexpectedly during operations.3. Accidentally opening a Quick Coupler in an unsafe position

Using a quick coupler with a control system that allows a quick coupler to be opened in any position or orientation can result in unintentionally releasing a bucket in a dangerous position, causing a bucket to fall.

ISO 13031 Earth-Moving Machinery – Quick Couplers – Safety

The development of quick coupler related safety standards such as ISO 13031 Earth-Moving Machinery – Quick Couplers – Safety, has been a game changer across the global construction sector.

It was developed in cooperation between global health and safety organizations, machinery and quick coupler manufacturers with the goal to eliminate growing safety concerns following several fatal accidents where excavator buckets became detached from some quick couplers during operation.

The standard outlines minimum operation and safety requirements that quick couplers must meet in order to be compliant.

By using a ISO13031 safe compliant quick coupler this helps prevent buckets accidently falling from excavators in these three scenarios mentioned above. How?

1. Misconnection

By using a quick coupler with a front lock, if misconnection occurs the bucket is secured by the front lock preventing it from falling.

2. Cylinder failure / Loss of hydraulic pressure

By using a quick coupler that has added additional locks to the engaging process this keeps the bucket in a default locked position even with the loss of hydraulic pressure or cylinder failure via internal safety springs.

3. Accidentally opening a Quick Coupler in an unsafe position

By using a quick coupler with a curl to release control system (a two-step operation control system). This only allows the attachment to be released in a safe position after getting a signal from the hydraulics. This prevents a quick coupler being opened in an unsafe position and prevents a falling bucket.

All quick couplers are not equal. Regardless of the quick coupler you use, ask yourself this question: Is your quick coupler safe and compliant?




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