5 Most Common Excavation Hazards and How to Avoid Them

July 9, 2021

One essential process that the construction and mining industry regularly maximise is excavation. Excavation is the process of moving rock and other materials from the ground through the use of several tools and equipment pieces. With excavation, the construction industry can effectively establish building foundations, reservoirs, and roads. The mining industry, alternatively, utilises excavation to acquire the needed materials and minerals from the ground. 

Despite the use of highly functional tools and other materials, the excavation process can still pose some dangers to the people working on site. This process entails the digging of the ground beyond five feet, which is already deep enough to cause some problems. Unforeseen surrounding conditions can even lead to more dangers during the entire excavation process.

The following are some of the most common excavation hazards that you need to consider and some effective ways to avoid them.

Cave-ins

Cave-ins are occurrences wherein the excavated areas collapse, trapping all people who are working on these areas. In most cases, cave-ins can cause injuries and even deaths among workers. Fortunately, cave-ins can be avoided if professional engineers are hired to assess the soil composition, inspect the project site, and implement a system that can shield, support, and slope the excavated areas.

Falls

Huge holes are expected to be created out of the excavation process. And if the spaces around them are left wide open, then the chances of people falling on the excavated areas can be huge. To prevent any accidents, workers must install some barrier elements and safety signage around the excavated areas. They must also work cautiously whenever they are near the excavated areas.

Falling Debris

Aside from the excavation tools, contractors also utilise other mobile tools to transfer or move load across the project site. One issue that is associated with the use of these tools is that they can sometimes cause some debris to fall. Worse, heavy objects might suddenly fall while these tools operate. To avoid any related dangers, workers are advised to stay away from these mobile tools during their operations. Wearing protective apparel is also recommended to minimise injuries.

Electrocution

Somehow related to mobile tools, other tools that are needed on construction or mining projects may suddenly hit utility lines. Without any warning, this can lead to electrocution and even gas leaks, which can be fatal to workers who are around the site. For safety purposes, you must contact the local utility companies first so they can turn off the supply of electricity and gas. You can also acquire their help in identifying the location of the utility lines so the workers can avoid hitting them with the excavation tools.

Contamination

One more hazard that is related to excavation is contamination. Some areas underground may have low levels of oxygen. They may also have some toxic gases and chemicals that are dangerous to breathe in. To prevent health-related issues, atmospheric testing must be done first. Once atmospheric hazards are identified, the workers must then wear some respiratory protection equipment.

To know more about excavation, you can call us at Metro Pits.

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