European manufacturers agree to cease supply of semi-automatic quick hitches to UK

The British Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has confirmed that European
manufacturers have voluntarily agreed to cease supply of semi-automatic quick
hitches into the UK. The agreement comes after discussions between HSE and
industry and will be effective as of 1 October 2008.

After four fatal incidents in the twelve month period between December 2006 and
November 2007, all involving semi automatic quick hitches, HSE began talks with
quick hitch manufacturers, excavator manufacturers and others to highlight the
problem with semi-automatic quick hitches and look for potential solutions.

A quick hitch on an excavator is a latching device that enables attachments to
be connected to the dipper arm of the plant and changed quickly. Quick hitches
are in common use throughout the construction industry and, when properly
designed, maintained and used can save a great deal of time when working with
excavators. They allow operators to quickly use plant for a wider range of
tools than just buckets, such as mechanical diggers and piling drills.

Industry has been supportive throughout these discussions, and as a result all
manufacturers have agreed to stop supplying this type of quick hitch as of 1
October 2008.

What this means for users of quick hitches

  • The agreement will mean that in the future when buying a quick hitch only
    manual or automatic quick hitches will be available.

  • This does not mean that all semi automatic hitches will be illegal as of 1
    October 2008. - When used in accordance with manufacturers instructions semi
    automatic quick hitches can still be used safely.

  • Owners and users should still be able to order spare parts for current semi
    automatic hitches from manufacturers.

More info

AplusA-online.de - Source: Health and Safety Executive