Top Excavation Safety Hazards to Keep in Mind

February 7, 2020

Before any new construction project can take place on a site, professionals must excavate the area to prepare it properly. This action includes such tasks as clearing debris, rocks and topsoil from the area as well as grading, digging trenches and more. While some of these jobs are done manually, others require heavy equipment to get the tasks done correctly. Needless to say, excavating can be dangerous to all workers who perform it if the following top excavation safety hazards are not avoided.

1. Falling Equipment or Workers

Workers or construction equipment or loads can fall into a trench or other excavated location on a site. When this happens to workers, they can suffer minor and major injuries or even die. Equipment can become so damaged that it needs replacing to proceed with the project. Raised loads should never be worked under as they could fall on workers. There are specific work-safety regulations that excavation companies must adhere to in order to avoid lawsuits and fines.

2. Cave-In of Holes or Trenches

Workers die each month due to cave-ins of trenches or holes, which makes this an extremely serious safety hazard connected with excavations. Experts recommend that a qualified professional or engineer analyse the soil composition in an excavation area and also needs to create a system that accomplishes the following:

• Slopes the soil in the proper manner
• Shields the workers from harm
• Supports the walls of trenches or holes

By doing the above, you will reduce the risk of cave-ins and prevent injuries and fatalities. Note that when the soil is wet it can negatively affect the soil’s stability.

3. Toxic Atmospheres

Excavation areas can also be hazardous if the oxygen levels become depleted or if the soil is tainted with certain chemicals and gases. All three issues can create a toxic atmosphere at the site that can make it difficult for the workers to breathe and lead to them illness or worse. Atmospheric testing must be performed for this reason.

4. Damaging Utility Lines

A safety hazard that is easily avoidable with the right planning is the damaging of utility lines. You can keep from digging in areas where gas, electric, cable and plumbing systems run simply by calling 1100 or go to for other ways of contacting the right authorities.

5. Accidents with the Construction Vehicles

One last safety hazard that we must mention is that accidents can occur with construction vehicles when the operators are not sufficiently trained or careful. Accidents such as these can cause damage to much-needed work vehicles and bodily harm that could result in death.

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