Workers Health & Safety Centre

WHSC Mini Excavator Operator training undergoes overhaul

WHSC Mini Excavator Operator training undergoes overhaul
Ontario health and safety law requires workers who operate mobile equipment, including mini excavators, to be competent.
Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act defines a competent person as one who,
  • is qualified because of knowledge, training and experience to organize the work and its performance,
  • is familiar with the Act and the regulations that apply to the work, and
  • has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health or safety in the workplace.
The Workers Health & Safety Centre’s (WHSC) Mini Excavator Operator training intends to satisfy the training requirement aspect of this competency law and assists employers in meeting their overall obligation to ensure operators they employ are competent. The program encompasses eight hours of training delivered over two days. The first day comprises a six-hour, in-class session. The program also involves a two-hour practicum offering hands-on training for new operators and a review/evaluation for those with experience.
The WHSC is committed to ongoing review and updating of this and other training programs when needed. This is essential considering all mobile equipment pose significant, even deadly risk to the health of operators and others on a work site.

Updates to the Mini Excavator Operator training

The new version of this program (Version 3) is a major update with improved graphics, more information, new videos and a reorganized PowerPoint presentation for better flow when delivering the program. This involves modifications to the participant’s manual, detailed session plan, PowerPoints and worksheets.
Module 1—Introduction to mini excavator and the law
This module introduces participants to the types of mini excavators along with information about some of the recent manufacturer modifications to the equipment. This includes a closer look at equipment specification tables and their role in calculating the rated capacity to avoid stability hazards. Also new is more content on centre of gravity and its relationship to stability.
Module 2—Health and safety hazards of mini excavator operations
New PowerPoints help instructors better explain workplace hazards and hazard categories. The PowerPoint is reorganized to improve session flow. There is new information about ground disturbance hazards and better graphics to help illustrate hazards. Two new videos have been added. The first explores the hazards of hitting underground utilities. The second addresses trench cave-in hazards.
Module 3—Safe work procedures for mini excavator
Content changes provide a clearer interpretation of the responsibilities of a mini excavator operator. New graphics support a better understanding of control systems and controls. New hand signal graphics expand on and replace the clipart graphics of the previous version. A new video reviews safe operating procedures for mini excavators along with potential risks to health for operators and others nearby. The hand signals evaluation forms have been eliminated from the practicum session.
Editor’s Note
This training program is available for booking now.
Contact a WHSC training service representative for more details or to organize training:
Call:  1-888-869-7950