Safe Use of Suction/Vacuum Excavators

This Good Practice Guide for the Safe Use of Suction/Vacuum Excavators is an 84-page publication, produced by the Suction and Vacuum Excavator Special Interest Group, which aims to educate owners, operators, hirers, contractors, clients, trainers and maintenance staff on the nature, operational practices and safe working requirements of these types, and emphasises the wide-ranging operational aspects of these machines.

The publication provides specific recommendations around lone working, the use of a second operator and other supporting staff, and information relating to contaminated ground containing radioactive wastes. Other additions to the guidance include clean-up procedures that should be followed when hazardous materials – particularly asbestos-based materials - are drawn into a machine. An additional eleven annex sections relay additional information on items such as daily and weekly checks; procedures for working at height, the use of red diesel on the public highway and the transporting of wastes.