10 Things To Do Before Operating a Compact Excavator

Are you aware of all the safety protocols before you operate a compact excavator? There is actually a lot to think about before you dig in. In order to keep you and everyone around you safe, it is important to follow proper excavator safety steps so everyone can go home at the end of the day.

We totally get it, you have been using these machines for a long time. Please keep in mind, they do change. There have been many advances since they were first made with many new safety features that you need to be aware of and how they work. Any good operator will always read the manual of a new machine they have never used before to ensure they are familiar with it.

We have compiled a list of things to do directly from the safety manual. Please note, in now way does this replace the safety manual. If you are ever in doubt about something, refer back to it. Reading and understanding the safety manual is imperative to your safety and those around you.

Here are 10 things to do and consider before operating a compact excavator:

  1. The first thing you want to do is call before you dig. It is your responsibility to call and locate all underground utilities to avoid a costly mistake. A One-Call referral number is 1-888-258-0808 to find the area near you for Canada and US.


Be sure to plan your work area and mark these underground utilities to help avoid hitting them.

It is YOUR responsibility to read and understand the manuals before operating the machine. The key to safety is YOU.

  1. Protect yourself with protective clothing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) based on job conditions. You may need:

– hard hat

– safety boots with non-slip soles

– safety glasses, goggles or face shield

– heavy-duty gloves

– hearing protection

– reflective or high-visibility clothing

– wet weather gear

– respirator or filter mask

Wear whatever is needed to protect yourself – do not take chances.

  1. Know the Rules. Check with your supervisor or safety coordinator. Here are a few rules you must work by:

– Know the limitations and operating characteristics of the compact excavator. Do not overload it.

– Always wear the seat belt, if equipped. If the compact excavator is equipped with a foldable TOPS/ROPS, do not fasten the seat belt when the TOPS/ROPS is in the down position.

– Always have all shields and guards properly installed before operating the machine.

– Inspect the machine and all attachments before each use as specified by the manufacturer and your employer. Ensure the attachment is properly installed.

– Only use parts and attachments that are approved by the original equipment manufacturer.

– Never modify or remove any part of the equipment (except for service – then make sure it is replaced).

– Read and understand all safety signs installed on the machine.

– Know the location of other personnel and machines and make sure they are a safe distance from the machine.

– Know the worksite. Be aware of possible hazards that you may encounter.

– Always look in the direction of the machine or boom movement. Drive facing the travel direction whenever possible.

– Make sure you understand the rules covering traffic at the worksite. Know what all the signs, flags and markings mean.

– Understand hand, flag, horn, whistle, siren and bell signals, if used at the worksite.

– Know when to use lights, turn signals, flashers and horns, if equipped.

-Do not allow riders.

– Keep hands and feet on controls when operating.

– Never lift or swing a load or attachment over anyone.

– Whenever you leave the machine, lower the excavator blade, bucket or other attachments to the ground. Stop the engine. Cycle the hydraulic controls, including auxiliary hydraulic control, to relieve trapped pressure. Engage control lock if equipped and remove ignition key.

– When transporting the compact excavator on a trailer, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for loading, tying down and unloading the compact excavator.

5. Know the Equipment. Failure to obey safety instructions could result in death or serious injury.

6. Check the Machine. Before you begin a work day, inspect the machine and have all systems in good operational condition. Do not operate the machine until all problems are corrected. Perform daily service procedures as instructed by the equipment manufacturer.

7. Clean up. Clean windshields, mirrors and all lights. Use water and a clean cloth. Clean the operator’s area. Steps and handholds must be clean and functional. Oil, grass, leaves, needles, snow, ice or mud in these areas can cause you to slip and fall. Clean your boots before getting in the machine. Clean out trash and debris buildup promptly. Remove all loose personal items or other objects from the operator’s compartment.

8. Check the work area. Know beforehand as much about the worksite as possible. Locate all ground workers near the worksite and make sure clothing worn is easily seen. Be aware of weather conditions that can affect visibility, ground stability and traction. Check for:

– location of steep slopes, slide areas, drop-offs and overhands.

-Adequate traction on slopes

– Traffic locations and movement

-Thick dust, smoke and fog.

– Soil conditions – look for signs of instability such as cracks or settlement.

– Standing water and marshy areas

– Rocks and stumps

– holes, obstructions, mud or ice.

– Location of open trenches.

– Exact location of any buried or overhead electrical, gas, telephone, water, sewer or other utility lines.


  1. Mount and Dismount properly.

– Maintain 3 point contact with the machine. Three-point contact is defined as maintaining contact with at least 1 hand and 2 feet or 2 hands and 1 foot, at all times.

– Face the machine when either mounting or dismounting.

– Use handholds, handrails, ladders or steps.

– The upperstructure and undercarriage must be oriented to align the access system.

– Never use control levers as handholds

– Never step on foot controls when entering or leaving.

– Clean your boots and wipe your hands before mounting or dismounting.

– Never jump on or off the machine.

– Never attempt to mount or dismount a moving machine.

– Never mount or dismount while carrying tools or objects that prevent three-point contact.

10. Look out for others. Before starting, walk completely around the machine operating area. Make sure no one is under it, on it or close to it. Do not start the engine until everyone is clear of the operating area.


So what do I do next? We will discuss starting safely and what to check before you operate in our next post.

Posted in Compact Excavator Safety PT1 | Leave a comment

Tool Talk Safety – Ladder Safety

Safety Tip!

Did you know??

1 in 42 workplace deaths are caused by a fall from a ladder.ladder

Fall protection equipment is the only thing between you and the ground if you take a tumble. As required by Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), keep your PPE in good condition by regularly checking:

  • Connectors/snap hooks. These are the first parts of fall personal protection equipment that will be stressed if there is a fall. Make sure they are in good condition.
  • Dirt can build up on fall PPE and weaken harnesses and lanyard webbing.
  • Just like dirt, exposure to too much sun can weaken harness and webbing.
  • Cuts and Tears. Small cuts or splits in webbing cords weaken PPE.
  • Fall PPE used in hazardous environments (like chemical settings) can get damaged fast.

Ladders may not always be the best tool for the job, such as pressure washing. Even if conditions had allowed the ladder to be placed safely, it would still not have provided a suitable work platform for pressure washing according to WCB’s standards. Use an appropriate work platform for any work that cannot be done safely from a ladder and always use a fall protection system when required.

Posted in Tool talk safety - ladder safety | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The year that was… 2016

We would like to take a moment to thank all of our customers for choosing A&B Tool Rentals for all your equipment rental and purchase needs. It has been a pleasure serving you and we look forward to continuing to build the relationship with you in 2017!


We were 2016-aas-posterthrilled to be able to 2016-12-20-13-13-03support The Kettle Society by donating to their programs multiple times and sponsoring their event in November 2016. We look forward to working with them again this year!

What does The Kettle Society do?

Supporting people living with mental illness to lead healthier lives by:

– Providing Housing, employment, advocacy and support services
– Raising awareness of mental health issues and breaking down barriers
– Promoting the inclusion of people living with mental illness in all aspects of society

If you visit their website, they have a wonderful story on how it all began. It is truly inspiring that a group of individuals can come together and do great things for our community. But they can’t do it without the help of their volunteers and funding partners. If you can support, please donate through their website!!

We also support various schools, childrens sports teams and other causes throughout the year including, but not limited to, the Whalley Chiefs Baseball Club, SOS Childrens Safety magazine and the Red Cross with either cash donations and/or equipment for events. We think it’s great to give back to the community we live in and encourage you to as well! Thank you again to all of our customers for helping make this happen! When you choose A&B Tool Rentals, you also choose to support these great organizations.


We would also like to thank all of our staff for their hard work last year. There has been a lot of construction with more in the plans for this year and we are working on new strategies to continue to improve our services for this year and beyond.

On behalf of everyone at A&B Tool Rentals, we wish you a very healthy and prosperous new year!




Posted in 2016 | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Aerial Training Program

Equipment safety is a huge deal, especially if WCB pays a visit to your jobsite. Don’t get caught with warnings and fines, have your staff trained to operate all equipment on site. There are many programs that offer certified training to keep everyone on the jobsite safe.


At A&B Tool Rentals, we offer an Aerial Training program for all types of aerial work platforms. With smaller class sizes, it allows for more hands on practice to ensure you and our trainer are comfortable operating the equipment safely. Classes with more than 6 (to a max of 12) students will have 2 instructors to ensure you still get plenty of hands on time.

A&B offers on site training or in house training for your convenience. However, if you are interested in being trained on all aerial equipment, it may be more cost effective to come to our store to save on possible extra freight charges of equipment to your site.


aerial-training-vancouver-2If you are afraid of heights, this may not be for you! Be prepared to go high up in the air to get comfortable with the sway of the machine at it’s highest. Your instructor will go over
safety procedures and how to get down if you happen to get stuck up there. Also, identifying different hazards that surround you.





aerial-training-vancouver-3 aerial-training-vancouver-4







During the duration of the course, your instructor will go over the following topics:


  • Aerial Platform Fundamentals
  • Hazard Identification
  • Aerial Lift Devices and Operating Controls
  • Machine Stability & Characteristics
  • Pre Operational Checks for Aerial Lift Devices
  • Proper Start Up & Shut Down Protocol
  • Platform Positioning and Park Positioning
  • Emergency Controls
  • Safe Mount and Dismounting
  • Troubleshooting


You will start with in class theory complete with video presentations. The classroom will be to go over all the fundamentals, inspections and safety before heading outside for some hands on experience. You will be given a workbook to complete with a written test at each training session. Once you aerial-training-vancouver-6get outside, it will be much easier to familiarize yourself with the machine after going over it in class. Your instructor will begin to walk you through the first steps to take before starting the machine. Don’t forget your safety harness! Each student will be given the opportunity to control the machine and get comfortable with it. If you feel you need more time, do not be afraid to ask!


Upon successful completion of the course, you will be issued a certificate indicating you have successfully complete the Aerial Training Course and are able to operate the types of equipment you were trained on. You will also get a small wallet card to keep on you at all times while operating Aerial Work Platforms. Please keep in mind, if there was a unit you were not trained on, you are still able to operate it after reading the operators manual and familiarizing yourself with the unit. They all have their similarities and differences and it is up to you to read the manuals to know and understand them.

To inquire about your training session at A&B Tool Rentals, please contact our store at 604-255-7368 and speak with Martin. Thank you! We look forward to keeping you and everyone on the job safe.










Posted in aerial training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tool Talk – Fall Protection Safety

Fall Protection Safety

How long does it take to fall?

Don’t forget your Personal Fall Protection Equipment! You may not have time to grab hold of something safe, but you can still prevent a tragedy. Properly maintained and worn, a safety belt or full body harness attached to a secure anchor could save your life. Here is your list of personal protection equipment required:

– Safety Belts
– Full Body Harnesses
– Lanyards and Anchors
– Personal Shock Absorbers
– Carabiners
– Vertical Lifelines
– Rope Grabs
– Retractable Lifelines
– Horizontal Lifelines

Also, make sure not to tie up to an anchor point in such a way that would cause you to swing into an obstruction. This may be as harmful as falling on the ground.

Make sure to inspect these pieces before each use. If it is damaged or worn, do not wear it. It is time for new stuff!

What happens if I do fall? Can I still use my equipment again?

After a fall, immediately remove from service all equipment used to arrest the fall. You cannot use
the equipment again until it’s been inspected and approved by the manufacturer or other approved agent, or by a professional engineer.

Posted in fall protection | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tool Talk Safety – Roofing

Your guide to DIY Roofing!

It is highly recommended to hire a professional roofing company to do this for you, but in the event you decide to do this yourself these are some things to take into consideration. Also good to watch for when you do have a roofing company come in to ensure they are following proper safety protocol.

Article borrowed from http://www.gaf.ca/Roofing/Residential/DIY/Learn_Roofing_Safety


When it comes to installing a roof, safety should be your number-one priority. Skipping good safety practices because they take too much time makes it all the more likely that an accident will happen—so why take that chance?roof-harness

There are many safety issues to consider if you are planning to install your own roof. It’s imperative that you take the proper precautions in order to avoid serious injury or even death. Some of the most important areas to address are:

Work area

Make sure you have a clean, organized work area. Block it off from children and pets. Identify and avoid all site danger areas, such as dangerous power lines, unsafe roof access areas, and underground hazards (such as cesspools and power lines).


Falls account for many serious injuries and deaths in construction. According toProfessional Roofing magazine, an average of 6 roofers die each month in the U.S. from falls. It’s vital to take appropriate steps to minimize your risk of slipping and falling. Some of these include:

  • Never work on a wet roof.
  • Keep your work area as clean of dirt, tools, and debris as possible.
  • Wear safe footwear—soft-soled boots provide the best roof traction.
  • When working on a steeply pitched roof, protect yourself with safety equipment such as a safety harness, net, and guardrails.
  • Set up and climb your ladder properly.
  • Always wear a helmet to protect your head and prevent more serious injury if you fall.

Ladder safety

Use ladders that conform to local codes or are approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the US or Canada’s Centre For Occupational Health and Safety in Canada. Inspect your ladder carefully before use. Don’t use a damaged or makeshift ladder.

Make sure to set up your ladder properly. Place your ladder on solid, level footing (driveways that slope down away from the roof are a serious risk for ladders). Tie your ladder off at the top or secure with a plywood brace. Set your ladder against a solid backing. Very important—extend your ladder 36 inches above the landing or roof eave to provide a secure location to grab when transitioning from the roof to the ladder.

Make sure to climb your ladder safely—always face the ladder, use one rung at a time, never slide down a ladder, and do not overload your ladder. Don’t push a ladder in to “stretch” it because it’s too short; that makes it too steep and unstable. Make sure you don’t have to reach or stretch too far off the ladder.

Never leave ladders unattended. Remove all ladders from your work area every day or lock them together on the ground overnight.

Important: Keep ladders away from electrical wires and boxes at all times! There have been far too many deaths of roofers due to metal ladders set up near electrical wires.

Electrical safety

Electricity can leap or “arc” from a wire to a ladder several feet away. Make sure to use a non-conductive ladder of wood or fiberglass when working near wires. Never touch electrical wires with your hands or tools. Remember that metal materials such as flashing and drip edge should never touch electrical wires.

Important: If it’s necessary to work near electrical wires, call your local power company first. They should inspect the wires and insulate them if necessary.

Hammer safety

When using a hammer, always wear eye protection. Strike nails squarely to reduce the chance of nails flying back at you. Discard damaged hammers with cracked handles or heads. Never strike a hardened steel hammer against another hardened steel object.

Power nail safety

Treat this tool with extreme care. A pneumatic nail gun is basically a weapon. Check the operation of the safety; never tie back or disengage the safety. Only use when the gun is on the material to be fastened. Use a well-lubricated and inspected nail gun. Do not rest the tool against your body to eliminate misfires. Use caution with air power—only use clean, dry compressed air, disconnect the air supply as soon as you are finished, never work on the tool when connected to the air supply, and inspect hoses for breaks or leaks. Keep the tool clean and maintained properly. Never point nail guns at people.

Utility knife safety

Always cut away from your body. Don’t use a dull blade; dull blades have to be forced, increasing the chances of slipping. Replace blades frequently. Retract the blade when storing to reduce the chance of accidental cuts. Remember, always cut away from your body to help prevent injury.

Material handling

When lifting heavy materials, always use your legs, not your back. It can be surprising just how much material must be delivered to and moved around a roofing jobsite! Be sure to carry one bundle at a time—carrying too much fatigues the body and is unsafe on ladders and rooftops. Store material close to the roof—the closer to the roof, the less time and energy wasted retrieving material.

You can find more detailed information on roofing safety through various sources online. Here are just a few you may wish to review:

In the U.S., the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issues guidelines for Residential Fall Protection (the use of nets, guardrails, harnesses, etc.). GAF recommends compliance with these guidelines. View their Guidance Document on “Fall Protection in Residential Construction” .

In Canada, Canada’s Centre For Occupational Health and Safety is a valuable resource.

Construction Solutions is a database of information on work hazards and practical control measures to reduce or eliminate those hazards. You’ll find safety tips for roofing, ladder use, and roof demolition.

Tools and Safety Equipment

It is imperative to use the proper tools and safety equipment when installing a roof. Always invest in the right tool for the job.

The tools you will need to install a roof may include, but are not limited to:

  • Air compressor
  • Carpenter’s level
  • Caulking gun
  • Chalk line
  • Chisel
  • Circular saw
  • Clamp
  • Claw hammer
  • Clean-up cloth
  • Combination square
  • Electric drill
  • Finish hammer
  • Framing hammer
  • Hacksaw
  • Hand saw
  • Magnet
  • Nail gun
  • Roofing shovel
  • Saw horse
  • Screwdriver set
  • Seaming pliers
  • Shingle cutter
  • Shingle remover or ripper
  • Staple gun
  • Sturdy ladder(s)
  • Tape measure
  • Tin snips
  • Utility knife
  • Wrench set

The safety equipment you will need to install a roof may include, but is not limited to:

  • Eye protection

    roofing kit

    Roofers Kit

  • Guardrails
  • Ladder stabilizer
  • Lanyard
  • Netting
  • Roof anchors
  • Roof brackets
  • Rope
  • Safety harness
  • Scaffolding
  • Work gloves

Special Considerations

If your roof has an extremely steep pitch, it is imperative that you use the proper safety equipment.

You should avoid any work on the roof during extremely hot or cold weather. Roofing in extreme temperatures can lead to damaged shingles or shingles that will not lie or seal properly.

It is important to use the proper installation and repair materials for specific roof types. Failure to do so can lead to expensive roof damage. Always follow the shingle manufacturer’s instructions for the proper products to use on your type of roof.

Not Feeling Up To It?

Don’t trust your biggest asset to just any contractor. Do your research, ask others for recommendations, check reviews.


Happy Roofing 🙂

Posted in Roof Safety | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hazards of Baker’s Scaffold

In recent years, several workers have been seriously injured or killed while working with baker’s scaffolds. Baker’s scaffolds, also known as mobile or rolling tower scaffolds, can be very dangerous if not designed, maintained, assembled, and used safely.

Getting on and off a baker’s scaffold can be hazardous, because climbing up its end frame tends to destabilize the scaffold and may cause it to tip over. When a worker climbs the scaffold’s end frame and swings around onto the platform, the scaffold can become unstable. Relatively lightweight scaffolds may not be engineered to resist the potential overturning effect of the worker activity. Workers have fallen off baker’s scaffolds because they lack guardrails. Moving a scaffold with a worker on it increases the risk of falling.

Climbing on a ladder or other object placed on top of the platform is extremely dangerous due to a risk of tipping.


The two standards referenced in the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (ANSI A10.8 — American National Standard for Construction and Demolition Operations — Scaffolding — Safety Requirements and CSA Z797 — Code of Practice for Access Scaffold) provide only minimum safety requirements for the construction, operation, maintenance, and use of baker’s scaffolds and do not address design requirements for ensuring their stability.

Design requirements for baker’s scaffolds are referenced in CSA S269.2 — Access Scaffolding for Construction Purposes. This standard requires the scaffold to resist tipping against two times or more the load exerted on it when a worker accesses, uses, or exits it.

How to reduce the risk of injury when using baker’s scaffolds

  • Purchase heavier-weight scaffolds.
  • Ensure the load a worker exerts on a scaffold while accessing and using it is within the perimeter of the equipment.
    • Provide workers with a safe method to access and exit from the scaffold. Climbing the exterior end frame may cause overturning. For example, some manufacturers now offer scaffolds with hatches in the platform, allowing workers to climb up the inside of the end frame.
    • Increase the scaffold’s base dimension(s) by installing outriggers.
  • Ensure that workers do not put boxes, ladders, or any other equipment on a baker’s scaffold to gain additional height.
  • When required, install guardrails on the work platform.
  • Only stack scaffolds in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Additional bracing may be required.
  • When a scaffold’s height exceeds three times its smaller base dimension, secure the scaffold to a building or structure.
  • Provide workers with the manufacturer’s written instructions, and ensure that they understand and follow them when erecting and working with scaffolds.
  • Regardless of who assembled a scaffold, inspect it before each use and after any modification to ensure that:
    • The scaffold has been erected according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • All the connections between the scaffold parts are secure.
    • The rated capacity of the scaffold will bear the weight placed on it.
    • All required components are in place and are compatible with one another.
    • The scaffold is in good repair.
  • If a scaffold has a worker or a load on it, ensure that it is moved only in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and Section 13.24 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (Movable Work Platforms — Work Platforms on Wheels).
  • If a scaffold is on wheels, secure it to prevent movement before workers access or stand on the platform.
  • Provide safe work procedures based on the type of the work to be performed.
  • Provide supervision to ensure all workers using the baker’s scaffold are trained in its use and follow safe work procedures.

For more information

WorkSafeBC Prevention Information Line: 604.276.3100 or toll-free 1.888.621.SAFE (7233)


*Repost from WCB  http://www2.worksafebc.com/i/posters/2015/WS15_10.html

Posted in baker's scaffold | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment