Auckland Transport Safety Alert – Air Excavation Operations

July 2, 2021

Initial In June the operator of an AirVac system was harmed when his leg was sucked into the live unit. The operator was excavating using an extension pipe, when the AirVac became blocked. He placed the extension pipe on the ground and left it running to clear itself. The operator continued other work in close proximity to the still running AirVac. When the blockage cleared the operators leg was pulled into the pipe. The worker has a fractured foot and is off work for a minimum of two months.

Initial Learnings from this incident are:

• Live equipment must be appropriately handled and or isolated

• A review of safe work methodology is required

Further key learnings will be circulated upon completion of acomprehensive investigation into this incident.