Case study analysis of risk from using excavators as 'cranes'

David J. Edwards, Gary D. Holt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Excavators are frequently used as 'cranes' for object handling on construction sites, but this situation brings with it significant health and safety hazards that often, are not fully appreciated by stakeholders. These hazards are identified; their risks explained and studied; and appropriate advice for stakeholders explicated. A developmental approach is employed that embraces accrual of evidence; case studies; theoretical examination; and derivation of guidance. It is found that excavators are often used as cranes employing both 'formal' or less satisfactory 'informal' methods of load connection. Hazards from using excavators as cranes (found principally among load connection points and associated lifting accessories), are often 'hidden' and can lead to catastrophic failure during lifting operations. Stakeholders need to be aware of the hazards and implement suggested risk controls to remove or mitigate them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-133
Number of pages7
JournalAutomation in Construction
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Cranes
  • Excavators
  • Health and safety
  • Lifting operations
  • Plant and equipment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


Dive into the research topics of 'Case study analysis of risk from using excavators as 'cranes''. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this