Excavation Risks and Dangers: Why OH & S is A Must?

August 30, 2017


The OH&S exists to ensure workplace safety. The abbreviation stands for Occupational Health and Safety, for a regulatory body that traditionally looks after factory workers and construction personnel. However, on further examination, workplace settings are not set-in-stone. Excavation risks, for example, refer to an equally dangerous place of work. Imagine the scenario, the heavy equipment and the hazards in the trench. Just how does the OH&S maintain a safety margin here?

Quantifying Excavation Site Risks

The problem here is that everything is in flux. Back at the factory, the operational conditions don't change. Sure, a machine guard may loosen because a planned maintenance check has been skipped, but at least that gear will always occupy a predetermined station. Excavation risks have the potential to cause harm because the project takes place against contrasting backdrops. A featureless parcel of land, a length of busy road with existing utility lines, an electrical substation with concrete channels and high-voltage cables, all of these different work areas require OH&S guidance.

Initiating OH&S Governance

The occupational health and safety regulations are enforced as policies. Out on the site, excavation risks are identified, assessed and addressed. Managed in this way, the trench workers and their above ground associates are wrapped in a health and safety envelope. Imagine those regulations in action. An excavator or spoil pile is positioned too close to the trench edge. A dangerous subsidence condition is setting off the alarm bells, but it's the OH & S rules that ink out a proper safety margin. They instruct the spoil pile workers and excavator drivers to keep away from the trench edges.

Code of Practice Safety Margins

There's no ambiguity allowed when we're talking about excavation risks and dangers. Exact measurements prevent workers from slipping and falling into an excavated ditch. Shoring requirements balance tunnel depths and soil types, then spit out a solution that assures safety. In essence, the engineering principles that make this trench possible are being repurposed to produce worker protection regulations. This legislature must be obeyed, for it's the only thing standing between a high-risk construction procedure and a serious injury.

The heavy equipment used in excavation work continues to revolutionize trenching work. The job is done faster, fewer workers are required, and more projects can be undertaken. There's a cost to this productivity boost, though, and that cost can be high. Follow the Occupational Health & Safety regulation when dealing with heavy equipment, deep trenches, and unpredictable ground conditions. Furthermore, employ this legislature when environmental and project factors pose a threat. After all, roads, constructions sites, and existing high-voltage utility lines are every bit as dangerous as any poorly managed trench.

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