Excavator Accident Investigation

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Excavator After Accident

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Checking for Hydraulic
Fluid Contamination

During excavation work at a residential construction site, an excavator abruptly turned but also continued to move forward toward the edge of the hole. Not being able to stop, the excavator went over the edge and landed against a concrete foundation wall.

Liebert Engineering, Inc., was hired by the Contractor’s insurance company to conduct an investigation to determine the likelihood of a mechanical or system failure as the cause of the accident. The investigation included a static inspection of the excavator before repair, inspection of the accident site and interviews of the operator and witnesses, inspection of maintenance records, review of manufacture's documentation, and dynamic testing after repair. The dynamic testing was conducted to determine whether turning and breaking actions were normal and the excavator was safe for return to normal use. Critical hydraulic system components and fluids were inspected and replaced though no defects were found.


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