CPCS A98 Excavator 360 Above 10 Tonnes (Lifting Operations Only) Course

1. Introduction

Supervisors and managers may also benefit from this course simply to gain awareness and improve communication with their workforce. It is advised that they sit at the rear of the class in a non-assessment role.

This course is aimed at plant operators who have reached a professional standard. The course will enable the candidate to attain the CPCS Red Trained Operator Card. This is widely recognized across the construction industry as proof of the candidate’s ability.

This is a challenging sector as lifting operations are often forgotten about and incidents occur. Why? On a general excavation site, this machine is a key piece of equipment. It is often multitasked and in the day of health and safety, it can be set up for a variety of roles, even swapping between tasks in the same day. A site will only provide safe and proper lifting equipment with a competent operator. Due to today’s health and safety conscious environment, an excavator operator with the rig required to lift has been allocated to the lifting operations.

An understanding of this course requires the lifting operations for which the CPCS testing is set up. With that in mind, we are able to break the course into specific sectors so that operators and supervisors gain the maximum benefits.

1.1. Course Overview

This course is designed to provide novice and intermediate operators with sufficient knowledge and skills to enable them to operate their machines safely and effectively. It has been specifically designed for operators who have to do 360-degree excavator above 10 tonnes (tracked) lifting operations. This course will consist of classroom-based tutorials and practical/exercise sessions. This course is an NOCN CPCS approved training programme. The course consists of two days of training and the NOCN CPCS technical test on the third day. The ratio of instructor/trainer for the time you are on the course will be 2:1 (4 candidates = 1 instructor and 1 trainer). This is to maximize the training experience for each candidate, with each candidate getting sufficient time with the machinery and a chance to practice some different lifting scenarios. We cover many types of lifting operations to train the candidates so they have sufficient knowledge and practical experience in being able to carry out their duties as a 360 excavator operator in lifting operations.

1.2. Objectives

It aims to provide the candidate with the basic information and practical skills involved in lift operations using 360 excavators. On completion of the course, the candidate will have acquired the understanding of the need for safe working practices and also the importance of adherence to method statements. They will have acquired knowledge on all machinery in association with their own particular lifting operations. The candidate will also understand the approved code of practice LOLER 1998 and PUWER 1998. It will enable the candidate to select the correct lifting accessory and to be able to direct the slinger/signaller when the excavator is out of view of the load. A100 – Appointment of Lifting Supervisor. On completion of the course, the candidate will have gained all the vital supervisory skills to be able to take charge of any lifting operation, creating a safe working system with thorough knowledge of method statements. The candidate will also have knowledge of the lifting accessories and be able to ascertain whether they are fit for purpose. RP – Slinger/Signaller. This plant-related category would be an excellent progression route for the 360 excavator drivers as they will be able to secure a job for the driver in lifting operations. This course provides the excavator operator with the basic understanding and practical skills of being able to lift and direct loads from the machine to the ground and vice versa. This is an essential skill set for excavator operators who wish to broaden their skills and also increase employment opportunities.

1.3. Target Audience

It is aimed at operators of 360 excavators who have already received some form of basic training and who can demonstrate a minimum of 60 hours operating experience. (This must be recorded in the operator’s log book). This is a short course of 2 days, designed for a maximum of 4 candidates to allow for 2 days of basic lifting operations training and testing of the CPCS A66 endorsement. Do you want to gain your CPCS competence card in the least amount of time and for the least cost? Then this course is ideal (the A66 endorsement is at the operator’s request). This course will ensure that the operators not only meet but exceed the minimum requirements necessary to gain a CPCS competence card. Why settle for an ‘in-house’ certificate when for equal or less cost you can gain a nationally recognized CPCS card which many site management and principal contractors insist upon? Traditionally, operators have gained their card through an NVQ assessment. This involves an additional cost and time, whereas this course allows the operators to gain formal qualifications and further skills and knowledge in the same or less amount of time and for less cost.

2. Safety Precautions

Assessment continues throughout the life of the lifting operation being repeated if there is any substantial change in the lifting operation or the conditions it is carried out in.

Remember, the degree of risk is affected by: – Probability of the lifting operation causing load or personnel injury / Potential damage to load – Probability of injury to people during lifting operation – Safety of lifting equipment and possible contamination of resulted damage.

From the above, the ratios of risk to benefits involved in lifting can be compared with the hope being that the lifting operation will only go ahead if the move is worth it in terms of risk to what can be gained.

– Is the lift well enough defined in terms of what is to be moved, where to and when? – Would an alternative method of lifting pose fewer risks? – Are there any hidden hazards on the planned route? – Is the ground or supporting surface adequate? If not, what can be done to make it so? – What is the weight and how big is the load? – What lifting equipment will be used? – Can the lifting equipment get safe access to all parts of the load? – What is the lifting method? – Is the lifting equipment suitable for the lifting operation?

Key concept: Safe lifting operations rely on a number of factors and lifting operations are no safer than the people who conduct them. The people must be competent and confident in their understanding of the rig and load, the equipment and the lifting method to be employed. A comprehensive risk assessment should be completed to ensure that the lifting operation can be carried out safely. The assessment should consider the following:

Identifying hazards

2.1. Identifying Hazards

Items of activities/situations that can cause ill health or injury to persons, damage to plant or materials, or loss to the process. Identifying hazards is a very important part of the lifting operation. If hazards are not identified, then incidents are more likely to occur. By identifying hazards before the lifting operation, measures can be taken to reduce or eliminate the risk of an incident occurring. Those involved in the lifting operation should always be looking out for hazards and pay particular attention to the Dynamic and Unpredictable Risk Assessment (DUPRA). This is a continual process, which should be carried out throughout the lifting operation. DUPRA is a type of assessment that measures the risk to a person’s health, safety, and the environment. It is used to control and manage risks and sets a level of acceptability. Time and cost should be put into measures that reduce the level of risk to an acceptable level, and if it cannot be achieved, then the lifting operation should not take place.

2.2. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The law of personal protective equipment states that every employer has a duty to their employees to provide them with personal protective equipment. The law also states that the equipment should be free of charge to the employee and should fit the user correctly. If an employee provides his own personal protective equipment, they are required to provide safe keeping for it and their employer should reimburse the employee for any costs incurred, providing the employee has looked after his/her equipment. The regulations also imply what a user may bring to a work site from their personal protective equipment, stating that it must not be better or worse than the equipment provided for them by their employer. However, an exemption from this can be made if the user has a valid medical reason for not using the provided equipment. Users are also required to report any lost or faulty personal protective equipment to their employer. This statement falls under PPE at work regulations act 9 (5), which states “Every employee shall use any personal protective equipment provided to him by his employer in accordance with any instruction and training given by the employer in accordance with regulation 10, and the employee shall take reasonable care of his own health and safety and that of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions at work” (PPE at Work Regulations 1992). This regulation supports the notion that health and safety has a duty to protect the worker, as they have provided them with equipment for a specific purpose and wish for the employee to return from work unharmed. This may relate to lifting operations using an excavator, taking into account the use of hard hats in case of falling objects or ensuring that loose fitting clothing and jewelry is removed so as not to cause harm when coming into contact with the moving parts of machinery.

2.3. Emergency Procedures

– Establishing the weight of the load and the capacity of the lifting equipment. – Establishing a safe lift (by excluding all personnel from the lifting zone and identifying a safe place for the lifting equipment). – Selection of the lifting accessory to suit the lifting operation. – Any specific requirements for the lifting equipment (e.g. outriggers, dozer blades). – Environmental considerations during the lift. – An emergency plan.

The appointed person for the lifting operations must be competent with significant practical experience and must be familiar with the type of lifting equipment to be used. They must have a full understanding of the lift and its requirements. The appointed person must give consideration to establishing safe systems of work. They are responsible for the planning and organization of the lifting operation in which they must give due consideration to the following:

When any work is carried out using lifting equipment, there are inherent dangers if the correct procedures and processes are not followed. It is the client’s responsibility to ensure client-specific lifting operations take place in accordance with the lifting operations and lifting equipment regulations.

2.4. Safe Lifting Practices

Inspect to ascertain the weight you may be moving and distance it needs to be carried. Test the load for stability. Any faulty or damaged equipment must be removed from service and clearly marked or tagged as faulty, and moved to a designated holding area. All rigging equipment you intend to use must be of adequate strength. All lifting equipment must be visually inspected prior to use, and after being set up, it also must be properly marked or tagged to verify it has been inspected. Any equipment involved in a hazardous occurrence affecting its operation must be removed from service. No repairs are to be made to lifting equipment without approval from a supervisor. Any repaired equipment must be properly certified. On machines fitted with operative alarms to indicate to the operator that they are approaching an overload, tests shall be made to make certain that it goes off when it ought to, and doesn’t give off a false alarm. An effective communication system must be used when carrying out lifting operations and it should be agreed between all parties involved in the operation. This method of communication might include hand signals or the use of a two-way radio, it should allow the equipment operator to have continuous information on the position of the load.

3. Excavator Operations

Without the correct preparation and planning, the lift is likely to be inefficient, unsafe, and more than likely not produce the desired results.

Next, you’ll need to prepare the area where the work is to be done. Depending on the ground conditions, this might involve any number of things from laying mats to constructing a working platform. Finally, you’ll need to plan the lift itself. This involves not only the lifting operation but also positioning the machine and moving the load once it is held in the bucket. All these things have to be done before the operation begins, but for now, we’ll move on to the lifting operation.

First, and very importantly, you have to choose the right machine for the job. This might sound obvious, but sometimes it’s easy to overlook this crucial first step. You need to know the weight of the loads you will be lifting, the reach you will need to have, and the working space available to you. Only then can you make an informed decision on the correct machine for the job.

When you operate a machine, you have to know it inside out, and that is especially relevant when discussing the operation of an excavator as a lifting machine. A 360 excavator is a very powerful, versatile, and useful tool in the hands of an experienced operator. It can also be, however, a dangerous machine in the hands of the uninitiated. A lot of the work in operating a 360 excavator safely is in the preparation and planning.

3.1. Machine Familiarization

When the operator has accessed the lift and is at the specific location to carry out the operation, he should carry out a full risk assessment of the task, take into account any specific requirements for the loads moving, position the machine in a location to allow best access/egress when carrying out the lift and allowing best access for moving the load to/from its location, taking into account machine stability and having to work on potentially uneven ground. The operator needs to be aware of the fast hitch type and how this could affect machine stability and hence the lift. This may require specialist knowledge from the supervisor. Before carrying out any lifting operation, the operator should check that a lifting attachment is compatible with the machine and ensure that he has been fully trained in its correct use. If the operator is in doubt about the lifting attachment he should refer to the machine operation and maintenance manual or contact the manufacturer for advice.

3.2. Controls and Functions

Starting the machine: Change the throttle to the desired position, and the ignition key will spring return to the ON position. Release the key when the engine starts. Note that the Cummins engine fitted on this machine has an automatic high idle system. The high idle system will activate after 5 seconds, when there is no movement of the controls. Always check your throttle setting before using any controls and re-set if necessary. High idle can be cancelled by movement of the controls. This system is provided to increase fuel efficiency and reduce noise and emissions at idle speed. Always warm the engine before using high engine speeds in cold conditions. As a safe practice method, if the machine is going to be left with the engine running, lower the engine speed to idle and engage the engine speed select switch to low to prevent machine movement. Always turn the engine off before refueling. Operating the machine: The work equipment control lever and each control lever have different travel distance and operating force. These features are provided because the work equipment operates over a wide range. First, let’s look at the function of the work equipment control lever. The work equipment control lever is a single acting lever and it controls the front attachment. By moving the work equipment control lever in the direction of the arrow, the front attachment will either raise or lower. By moving the work equipment control lever left and right, the front attachment will tilt. By moving the work equipment control lever further in the direction of the arrow, the front attachment will either raise or lower. The work equipment control lever has a quick return circuit built into it to raise the performance of the front attachment. When the work equipment control lever is not being operated, the default front attachment position is set to the ground. This is indicated by the position of the lever’s roller grips.

3.3. Lifting Techniques

– Position of the load: Consider any hazards to the machine or personnel if the load is lifted and slewed into another position. Remember that the machine will have to travel with the load, so an adequate path must be prepared. – Machine positioning: It may be necessary to position the machine for the best reach and avoidance of overloading. A stable and level platform is essential. – Digger and Slinging Equipment: Ensure that the lifting attachment on the machine is suitable for the load and that the slinging equipment is in good condition and suitable for the load. Suitable lifting attachments are the four-legged type for equal loading or the use of a lifting shackle and master link with two strops or chains. – Slinging the load: It is important that the load is slung correctly to ensure control and safety. Always use the correct lifting point and a suitable lifting attachment. Do not use the bucket or any other device to alter the lifting point. A tagline should be used to control the slew of a suspended load. This is the preferred method to avoid any manual control of the machine that could result in a crush. If manual control of the load is necessary, the use of a man riding winch and a suitable lifting attachment on the load may be a safe method to elevate personnel. This type of operation should be restricted to certain qualifications.

Lifting requires an understanding of the use of the machine and the slinging equipment to ensure a safe and controlled lift. When planning the lift, the operator must think about the following points:

3.4. Load Charts and Capacities

It is important to remember that, as specified in the lifting regulations, the machine must have sufficient capability at the specific radius and boom angle to lift the load, plus a tolerance of 10%. By adding 10% to the weight of the load, the operator can find the safe working radius and boom angle by using the chart. This is where the load chart exceeds the safe working capacity at certain radius and boom angles, and it is important that the operator does not exceed the safe working capacity.

By checking the weight and its position in relation to the machine, the operator can then find on the chart the maximum weight that the machine can safely lift at a particular radius and boom angle.

The information contained within the load chart is very important to the operator when making a lifting assessment. An assessment should be made to ensure that the machine is capable of the proposed lift. The operator shall consider: – The weight of the load – The radius at which the load will be picked up, moved, and set – The characteristics of the ground or pick up/set area – The accessibility to the area

Excavator load charts are designed to provide the lifting capacities at specific working radii and boom angles. It is important to check that the chart is appropriate to the machine, attachments, and working conditions. The operator shall ensure that they are referring to the correct chart for the machine, taking into account any attachments and the working conditions to ensure the information is accurate.

3.5. Rigging and Slinging

Rigging and slinging with an excavator is not required for this category as the machine is specifically for lifting operations only. It is important, however, for the operator to understand the principles and forces that are acting on the attachments and to use this knowledge to curb the tendency to overload. They will also need to be able to recognize good and bad practice in others. The slew force of an excavator can be a useful force for pulling a load, but if it is used while lifting, the force from the load is reduced and this can lead to an overload condition. It is essential that the operator knows the weight of the load and understands the machine’s capability. Unsafe practices can lead to failures of both machine and lifting accessories; it can also lead to a dangerous situation for anyone working in the vicinity. If the operator is guiding others to sling and lift with the excavator, it is helpful for them to be able to confirm or calculate the weight of the load. This can be achieved by referring to manufacturers’ data for the relevant equipment or by using simple platform weighing scales. A witness or the operations manager may also give an estimated weight, and this could be recorded as an entry into a lifting plan. Step one of the lifting plan will be to identify “Is lifting the load the best and safest way of moving it?” High-value parts or equipment will often need to be preserved and displayed; lifting may be a good option for this. The nature of the task might mean the load can be moved directly from its location to its new location, thus negating the need to store, transport, and shift by hand. Lifting operations can also cut cycle times compared to manual handling and provide a more controlled movement, particularly when there are poor underfoot conditions. Lifting could be described as a chain of operations that begin with identifying the load to be moved and finish with depositing the load in its new location. This is a useful concept that can be visualized and sketched in a flow chart style. A rough assessment of time and manpower required to move the load using the method could also be compared with the estimated cost of an alternative lifting method in order to prioritize and plan the task. A complex task will likely need a more detailed lift plan document, and overall, a well-planned lifting operation will be very efficient and problem-free. High levels of activity and productivity with safe and trouble-free task completion are the keys to machine and lifting operator satisfaction.

4. Assessment and Certification

Candidates will be required to undergo both written and practical assessments during their CPCS A98 above 10 tonnes 360 Excavator course. The written test will take the form of a touch screen test and will be based on the candidates’ knowledge of excavator operation and safety and will include knowledge of underpinning core skills. The practical test will again be carried out at one of our test ground centres and will again last for a maximum of 2 hours. The candidate will be judged for either a Red or a Blue card dependant on their knowledge and operating skills of excavators. The Red card restricts the candidate to non-lifting operations, whereas the Blue is not. Certification for the CPCS A98 course will take the form of a Red Trained Operator Card for those candidates who have only achieved the Trained Operator Standard. A Blue card will be issued for those who have achieved the NVQ element of the course. This will enable later upgrade to a Blue Competence Card usually desired for supervisory roles and will involve a work based NVQ.

4.1. Written Test

At the end of the theory session of the CPCS A58 Excavator 360 course, there will be a theory-based written test to assess each candidate’s knowledge on plant and their excavator360. The test consists of the following: 15 multiple-choice questions, 8 open questions (5 marks per question), and 1 question where the candidate will be required to draw an excavator and identify 20 components (marks will be based on the amount of components identified and the correctness of these). This test should take no more than 45 minutes. An overall 75% pass mark is needed to move onto the next stage of the NPORS test. If a candidate fails the CPCS test but achieves a 50% pass mark, they are still able to complete a CPCS Technical test to gain a red trained operator card. This written test is suitable for operators of all experience levels on an excavator360 above 10t.

4.2. Practical Test

In order to gain knowledge assessing an operator with lift responsibilities, it is important that the tester (and where appropriate: the instructor involved with training the candidate) understands thoroughly the demands on the operator in their working environment. In time it may become apparent that with some lifting operations it would be totally out of context to carry out the practical test as an isolated exercise in a training or testing centre with a load and accessories selected by the examiner. In order to cope with this it may be possible to arrange an off-site practical test, conducted by a CPCS tester or instructor. For example, a candidate who is required to lift a prefab building into place with a crane in a large construction area, would be far better to do this in their normal work environment than at a testing centre. An event such as this could be assessed in part by the tester as he observes the candidate working in his normal environment, or by video evidence submitted by the instructor.

4.3. Certification Process

Once the candidate has achieved a pass on every module, the CPCS application forms (CPCS A17) should be completed by the candidate, one form per category endorsement being applied for, and forwarded to the CPCS Test Centre where the theory test was undertaken. The Test centre will forward the application form to CPCS Office. The application must be accompanied by the appropriate fee (cheques made payable to CITB). CPCS Office will then issue the Practical Test Endorsement (Red trained) card direct to the Test Centre who in turn will inform the candidate. The Test Centre in conjunction with the candidate will then make arrangements for a suitable practical test to be carried out within a two-year period since passing the theory test. The test itself will be subject to quality assurance auditing by CPCS, and the duration and content of the test will be consistent with all other CPCS Practical tests. On successful completion of the Practical test, the Operator will be issued with the relevant Vocational Competence (Blue) card direct from the CPCS office. CPCS provides a seven-day email messaging service prior to the expiry of a red card endorsement (trained) to remind the candidate to book the practical test. This service is only available to candidates who have provided an email address on their CPCS Application form.