What exactly is this road sign?

I’m sure we’ve all seen this road sign. I know it means “construction zone” so drivers should be careful. I can also see it’s a man holding “a shovel” but for the life of me I can’t make sense of the image. Does anyone actually have a shovel that looks like this one? What am I missing here?
NM_TM114A wikipedia page offers some suggestions. It may be a guy shoveling a pile of dirt, or lifting something out of a hole. Unless the designer comments on this post, I suppose I’ll never really know.

-Out of the Wilderness

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