Many accidents have been witnessed during excavation due to the earth caving in or sliding away. In some accidents, workers are buried, and there is a loss of life due to suffocation. On the other hand, when excavating next to existing structures, they can come tumbling down if you are not careful.
Excavation is the first work that is done on any site. You do not want accidents to be the first occurrence in your project. This is why you must know about the safety precautions necessary for any excavation project.
Here are some safety precautions to remember when doing an excavation project:
Proper planning is essential to implement the right worker safety precautions. Several things need to be addressed by a professional in advance.
The first step is to evaluate soil conditions for the right preventive systems to be determined and implemented. Other planning activities include planning for the excavation site’s traffic control and establishing the proximity of any nearby structures.
It is also vital to ensure that the workers have the right protective gear.
Plan for a safe entrance and exit
The entry and exit into the excavation should be included in the protective system to keep workers safe. You could provide ladders, ramps, stairways, or any other safe means for exiting from the excavation. Sometimes, when dangerous conditions happen at the excavation site, survival depends on how fast the workers can get out.
Undertake potholing and Underground Service Locator
Since using diggers is considered a risky activity, it is advisable that you first take the time to do potholing before you commence the actual excavation. Potholing involves digging small test holes to check for underground obstructions like pipes or lines. It is a reliable way to locate underground utilities so that the excavation operators can bypass them.
Another option is to hire an Underground Service Locator, they use Ground Penetrator Radar equipment. They will also obtain all the Dial as You Dig information. This is most efficient and time saving way to locate underground services.
An excavation site should be properly protected. This can be done by placing barriers around the excavation site. All spoils and excavation equipment should be placed a far distance from the edge of the excavation dig site.
Spoils refer to the excavated material, and it can be dangerous if it is placed too close to the edge of the site. The weight of the spoils or excavation equipment can easily cause a cave-in. They can also roll back into the excavation site causing life-threatening injuries or even death to the workers.
A trained professional should inspect the excavation every day. The inspector should look for any possibilities of collapse or cave-in before work begins in the morning. Inspection work should also be undertaken immediately after a natural event such as a rainstorm. It is also advisable after impactful works such as blasting of rocks at the excavation site.
Have proper safety signs
The importance of safety signs in an excavation site should never be underestimated. Safety signs play a major role in preventing both minor and major site accidents. Warning signs at excavation sites are placed for workers and passers-by in the area. This is why you should make the safety signs as clear as possible. Use everyday language like “DANGER! OPEN PITS AHEAD!” Because not everyone out there is aware of the different construction signs.
Partner with the right excavation firm
As you have read there are many risks involved with excavation. To avoid accidents it’s better to work with the right professionals to ensure that your excavation is a success. At Dobson Excavations, we take safety seriously for your peace of mind and to prevent project delays. We are located in Perth and serve the greater Perth and Peel region. Contact us today for a free quote.