Best Practices for Excavation Safety

Excavation in building construction refers to the process of digging up a site for the purpose of laying the foundation of a new building. It has come a long way since the days when small hand tools like shovels, spades, crowbars, buckets and wheelbarrows were used to excavate construction sites. Of course, these hand tools still have their place in today's construction world but in most cases, heavy pieces of equipment have to be brought in to tackle excavation jobs.

Excavation contractors are the industry professionals that specialise in tackling excavation jobs during construction. They're responsible for ensuring that all the work is carried out in a safe and efficient manner. 

Keep reading to find out some of the common steps taken to prevent accidents and injuries when excavating construction sites.

Conducting site inspections

One of the most effective ways of ensuring excavation safety is to inspect the work site before work begins and while it is ongoing. Pre-start inspections help to identify and address potential hazards that may lurk in the workplace while ongoing inspections help to deal with emerging risks that may catch workers off guard.

If buried utility services such as electricity, sewer and gas supply lines exist on a construction site, they must be located before work commences. Deliberate steps must be taken to avoid coming into contact with them during excavation. 

It's also best to keep heavy equipment away from the edges of trenches to lower the risk of heavy equipment falling on workers.

Using trained equipment operators

Excavation machines are heavy pieces of equipment that require competent personnel to operate safely. Before operators can be allowed to get into these machines, they must demonstrate that they're fully trained and qualified to operate them. 

This helps to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries due to operator error.

Providing all workers with the appropriate PPE

Although PPE serves only as a last resort, it must be made available to everyone involved in excavation work. High-visibility clothing, for example, makes it easier for equipment operators to see anyone working near or around the work equipment, thus improving the safety of workers.

Keeping everyone safe must be a top priority for anyone looking to carry out major excavation work on a construction site. If you have a construction project that requires doing extensive digging with the use of heavy equipment, don't risk the safety of your workers: contact an excavation professional for assistance.