Drilling and Augering

Employees that operate drills and augers are required to be task trained on each different machine that they operate. The task training must include

  • the type of work they will perform; and
  • be in an area similar to the one they will operate the equipment in.

Employers must maintain the training records for the task training of their employees for the duration of employment.

Operators must meet the requirements of:

  • WAC 296-155 when operating on a construction site in the State of Washington.
  • MSHA regulations found in 30 CFR when working on a MSHA regulated site.

Drill operators often work alone and at times or locations removed from other employees, which adds to the job’s risk. Operators and employers must plan for and adjust to this and many other risks which include:

  • Work area hazards such as electrical lines, buried pipes or tanks (inspect the area)
  • Eliminate all tripping hazards
  • Do not wear loose fitting clothing when working around drills or augers
  • Avoid using objects that could be entangled in moving parts
  • Stay clear of rotating augers and drill pipe/steel (far enough that a trip would not expose you to the moving part)
  • Never manually thread drill steel while the drill head is rotating.
  • Drill from a position with adequate footing and access to the controls
  • Assure that the controls and emergency shut-off switch work properly
  • Never nullify/disable/bypass machine safety devices
  • Communication plan



WAC 296-155 (by machine type or area used)


30 CFR Parts 1-199