Augers are powerful tools used primarily in trades such as construction, agriculture, landscaping, and utility work. They are often employed to drill or bore holes in the earth for poles, posts, and building foundations. Typically, augers are mounted on a platform or are equipped with a riding seat to keep the operator off of the ground in which he is drilling.
Unfortunately, many augers are not operated as they should be. Many of the reported workplace accidents and deaths involving auger usage on a construction site occurred because the operator became entangled in the heavy equipment after losing their footing. Many accidents resulted in the operator not using the auger in the correct fashion. No matter how the accident was triggered, the injuries were severe including amputation, internal injuries, and even death.
Auger operators need to be well-trained and be able to identify potential problems on the job site. There should be attention to safety of the operator and those working in the vicinity where the auger is being operated. Hard hats, proper footwear, and safety gloves should be worn at all times. The auger should also be inspected prior to usage to for broken drill bits and mechanical issues.
Whether using a handheld, power, or truck-mounted auger, it is important for the worksite to be cleared of debris and tests should be conducted to ensure no other materials are present underground. If the auger encounters fabrics or other materials, it can cause the operator to lose control of the situation and quickly can become a danger to everyone else in the vicinity.