Excavation poses a safety hazard to operators and the community surrounding the area of excavation. Dangers which include cave-ins, dust hazards or hazardous atmosphere, falling loads and more are the major culprits we should take precautions against at the excavation sites. Every day before work begins, safety inspection should be done to assess risks and means of keeping them at bay effected. This includes precautions like putting in support pillars, assessing weather conditions or pumping out the water collected in the excavation site to name a few.
Tips for excavation safety
Before excavation begins, take these measures to prevent fatalities and injuries at the excavation site:
1. Excavation workers should not go near unprotected trenches before safety inspection to ensure people don’t accidentally fall in due to loose or slippery soils.
2. If it is rainy or stormy, stop the excavation until the rains are over or postpone until the following day, the safety professional shall give guidance accordingly.
3. Don’t keep heavy equipment at the trench edges because they might collapse in or fall onto people working nearby.
4. Be mindful of underground utilities like water pipes, drainage pipes, underground electric cabling and more, while digging near these services, avoid mechanical equipment and use manual tools like shovels or spades and any other manual excavating tool or equipment.
5. All workers at the excavation site should wear protective gear. This point is extremely important, in case of an accident things won’t get worse if the victim had a comprehensive protective gear on.
6. Avoid working on trenches beneath raised roads, especially those known for heavy tracks. If necessary, divert trucks while men are at work.
7. Conduct an atmosphere test to ascertain the level of oxygen if it is within the recommended level or not before letting men enter trenches for work.
8. Create protective benching, sloping, shielding or shoring on areas that need such protection to keep it intact and safe for people working in the excavation site.
9. Regularly perform a safety inspection, and this should be done by a competent safety professional hired solely for safety reasons.
10. Use a checklist every day while performing a routine inspection to ensure no risk is left unassessed. Place warning signs to let neighbours know what is going on.
Common excavation hazards
Common excavation hazards include but not limited to: the collapse of the excavation sides, heavy materials falling onto people working at the site, people or vehicles falling into trenches or open excavation sites, nearby buildings or trees collapsing into the excavation site, gas leaks, electrocution or explosion caused by underground utilities, excavation equipment overturning and more.
Safety precautions at the excavation site
To avoid collapsing of higher grounds, either batter or put support with sheets to keep the higher grounds firm. Materials removed from the excavation site should be deposited far from the excavation site to reduce the risk of falling onto people. To keep stray people or animals from entering into an excavation site, fence the perimeter with a barbed or chain wire or any appropriate barrier. Keep non-essential vehicles from excavation sites. Before excavation works begin, seek for utility plans in the area to ascertain underground electric cabling, water systems, sewer systems and more to safety mark and use appropriate tools when you are near those services. To keep floods from the excavation site, use water pumps to draw water from the excavation site.
Choose professionals when you have a big excavation project at hand. Hammer Excavations has the expertise, personnel, and equipment to do the job efficiently and safely.