Digging into the soil can be a painstaking and long process. In such a context, powered augers prove to be a boon.
What is an auger? It is a drilling device which consists of a rotating helical screw blade. The rotation causes the drilled material to be dragged from one point to the other, a process better known as “flighting.” Furthermore, the auger is a drilling machine that also acts as a conveyer belt to remove the drilled material for an efficient and fast drilling. It is one of the best methods for most of the drilling tasks.
An auger can be powered manually or through external means, based on the requirement of the hole to be dug. For industrial and enormous tasks, externally powered augers are used. The power head creates the rotating motion, while the tip loosens the soil which is then carried by the helical screw out of the hole. Also, the auger should have high power head speed for holes with a smaller diameter and a high power head torque for those with larger diameters.
There have also been numerous accounts of mishaps related to this powerful machine. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have identified some of the potential safety hazards on the usage of auger drilling such as, worker getting pulled/stuck in the equipment, a tip over accident, a run over accident when backing digger derricks, back strain, electrocution, chemical exposure etc.
When an accident strikes, the victim usually has a decreased reaction time. However, if he is properly informed and trained, injuries, causalities, fatalities can be evaded. Simple awareness and identification of dangers in the workplace can eventually save an individual from serious injuries.
For example, the machine should be operated by trained/qualified operators, abiding by the guidelines set up by the OSHA and ANSI. They should have a good presence of mind in identifying hazards before and during the process of drilling. He or she should also check for the underground terrain before digging with the auger. He or she should be wearing proper protective equipment and know what to do in the case of an emergency.
The OSHA Construction Standard Requirements also state that the employer ought to train the auger operator, and the machine to stay clear of overhead power lines and underground installations.
One must abide to the guidelines set up by the OSHA, failing to which can earn one legal action against them. Also, we should remember that human life is very precious. Any injury, minor or major in nature should be prevented as best as possible.