When taking on a job that requires excavation or any type of trenching it is very important to be aware of all the hazards that may befall you or your team. The last thing a company needs when performing excavation or trenching if a fine from not properly upholding standards (which can often result in a loss of a license) or even worse the injury or loss of life of a co-worker. All of these scenarios will have a massive negative effect on your company and more than likely force you and the company to close its doors. Some of the main hazards and risks that you need to look out for are as followed.
- The collapse of the sides of the excavation. This can be prevented by supporting the sides of the excavation with battering or by supporting them with steering.
- Materials falling onto the people working in the excavation. This can be prevented by making sure that all equipment has to be moved away from the excavation or trench. Also make sure all work materials are nowhere near the trench, as well as making sure the dirt has been placed a far distance away.
- The undermining of nearby structures causing their collapse into the excavation. To avoid this make sure you that all the structures around the excavation have the proper support to avoid collapse. It is a good idea to contact the city to make sure all structures are structurally sound.
- People and vehicles falling into the excavation. Always make sure that the safety ropes have been set up around the excavation. If the trench is significantly deep made sure that you has set up the guardrail and make sure all vehicles stay a safe distance away from the trench.
- Damage to underground services during excavation work causing electrocution, explosion, gas escape, or flooring. Before any excavation or trenching begins, be sure to contact your city council and make sure that the area your are excavating does not have any gas or water lines under you.
- Ingress of water causing flooding. Before any excavation be sure to contact an environmental surveyor to be sure that there is no standing water below the excavation and that there is no underground stream these will both cause flooding in your trench.
When excavating and trenching be sure that you have everything in place. It is very important that you have everything planned when taking on an excavation. It’s important to make sure that all of the materials have been set up before excavation starts. Be sure that your team has been properly prepared and know all the safety procedures, as well as, all the proper certifications. Always remember that excavating can be very dangerous work, and to always be aware of the hazards that may befall you.