SAFETY SHARE - Bucket Drop after not being held by Quick Hitch

Posted on: Monday, 21 October 2019




A customer was injured after a trenching bucket disengaged from a Calibre SureGrip quick hitch. The bucket rolled on to a worker who incurred multiple fractures.


1. The bucket was not correctly engaged, however by hitting the pin in the centre there was enough friction to pick up the bucket.


2. The bucket was used to pick up material   
3. As the bucket was lifted the fiction was insufficient and the bucket slipped.  
4. The rear pin safety latch did not hold the rear pin in place and the bucket dropped and rolled on to a worker. Who was within the recommended exclusion zone.  

The SureGrip quick hitch met the ISO 13031 standard for quick hitches as the requirements do not outline the secondary safety latch requirements, as ISO’s position is that equipment should not be allowed to swing.

Grip2 are developing a larger pin for the rear latch which will be able to be retro fitted that will reduce the risk of this reoccurring.


When using a quick hitch you need to ensure that: 

  1. An exclusion zone is established below and around the vicinity of the bucket when using the excavator or backhoe if there are other workers on the site. 
  2. Quick hitches are kept in good working order and checks are conducted to ensure the attachment size is suitable for the equipment size. Ensure that they meet the quick hitch manufacturer’s specifications. 
  3. Check visually that the safety pin is securely in place or the automatic system has engaged correctly before starting work, and when fitting a different attachment. 
  4. Check that the attachment is secure by “bumping” the equipment against the ground or “rattling” the equipment back and forth.
  5. Ensure equipment operators are trained in how to use the plant safely and are competent to use the specific quick hitch on the plant they are using. 
  6. Verify operator competency by assessment and monitoring.