Improve the “quick couplers” standard on construction machinery

Home > The news of EUROGIP and occupational risks in Europe > Improve the “quick couplers” standard on construction machinery

Many serious or even fatal accidents occur when tools are not correctly interlocked with the quick coupler on construction machinery. In the majority of quick coupler systems, the tool is locked in place on the side facing away from the operator who is not therefore able to see whether the pins are correctly extended, i.e. 

According to Dr. Michael Thierbach of KAN, “the EU Machinery Directive requires reasonably foreseeable misuse to be considered during the risk analysis. In this case, it has not been given adequate consideration”. EN 474-1, the current harmonized standard governing earth-moving machinery, sets out requirements for quick couplers. These requirements have been revised and will be replaced in the near future by a reference to the international ISO 13031 standard, Quick couplers. Although some requirements have been improved, the test by the operator still forms part of the safety concept.

Occupational safety and health institutions and market surveillance authorities in several Euro­pean countries consider the state of the art now to be more advanced than that described in the standards. Quick couplers are available on the market that provide the operator with clear information on the locking state. Design solutions also exist that reduce the likelihood of the tool dropping should it not be locked correctly in position. These solutions enable the operator to detect the fault in time and take appropriate measures.

The European market surveillance authorities’ Administrative Co-operation Working Group (ADCO) with responsibility for earth-moving machinery has therefore formulated key points for amendments that need to be made to the standard in order to make quick couplers safer and consistent with the Machinery Directive. In the interests of speedy implementation, direct incorporation into the European standard is favoured.

To find out more

Discover other news

Community news


OSH measures key to prevent violence and harassment at work

More than one in five workers in the 25 countries surveyed have experienced violence and harassment at work, according to a new report by the ILO. Creating an environment free of these problems requires “a cooperative approach and social dialogue within companies on occupational health and safety (OHS)”.

Community news


Lead and diisocyanates: Council approves new limit values

The new directive adopted today reduces the occupational exposure limit values for lead and its compounds, which are toxic to reproduction, by a factor of five, and introduces new limit values for diiosocyanates, to which 4.2 million workers are exposed and which can cause asthma and skin diseases.



OS&H in Europe: where are we now?

So where are we in Europe when it comes to health and safety at work? That's the question we put to William Cockburn Salazar, the new Executive Director of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), in the first episode of the EUROGIP Discussions.