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Safety is a key issue when it comes to couplers and attachments.
Safety is a key issue when it comes to couplers and attachments.

Quick couplers under scrutiny

Legislation to phase out semi-automatic quick couplers on earthmoving equipment is under discussion.

Quick coupler-related incidents may be reduced if expected legislation is introduced into New South Wales.

A discussion paper released for public comment by NSW Government agency WorkCover announced the proposed phasing out of semi-automatic quick couplers by the end of 2013.

Subject to approval, WorkCover will commence action from 2014 to secure compliance with requirements that also applies to quick couplers imported into NSW.

WorkCover will allow semi-automatic quick couplers fitted on machines before 31 December 2013 but there will be strict requirements on the reselling of these attachments. 

Two people died in the first few months of 2012 due to quick coupler-related incidents. Fatalities like these can happen when the attachment safety pin is not used, which happens in up to 50 per cent of the machines, according to WorkCover NSW. It may also happen if the pin is not engaged correctly.

“The big issue with the original quick coupler design is it relies on the operator getting out of the excavator or backhoe to disengage the safety pin, moving the arm to the new attachment, getting out again to re-engage the safety pin before they can then get on with the job,” Jeremy Doherty, managing director of Doherty Couplers and Attachments, explained.

Securing attachments
Doherty’s Snaplock+ Coupler is one of the few quick couplers worldwide that is fully compliant to Australian Standard AS4772-2008 and European EN474 Standards. Its key feature is its Dual Pin Locking (DPL) system, ensuring attachments remain securely engaged on both pins in the event of loss of engagement force.

“The Snaplock+ Keypad further ensures the operator has complete control of the entire operation by using a personalised code to lock and unlock attachments on the job,” Doherty said.

“The proposed ban is great news for the safety of our industry. The key question contractors need to be asking is whether or not they're compliant. If not it makes more sense to ditch the semi-automatic and install a fully-automatic quick coupler now before they're forced to.”

Doherty Couplers & Attachments will ensure its attachments are compliant before any changes take place.

Source: Doherty Couplers & Attachments

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Monday, 16 September, 2019 6:16am
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