4 Safety Best Practices to Keep Workers Protected During an Excavation Project

As construction projects pick up speed across Australia, the industry is fraught with numerous risks. Whether it's from faulty and improper equipment handling or falling from heights, the list can be endless. However, excavations rank among the top-ranked risk segments of the construction industry. Prioritising worker safety during excavation projects is thus an indispensable facet.

Workers on an excavation site face four primary hazards: cave-ins, utility lines, hazardous atmosphere and struck-by objects. Therefore, to ensure they are well protected against such hazards during an excavation, keep these four safety tips in mind:

Offer Cave-In Protection

Loose soil is generally unstable and dangerous in an excavation project. Thus, it's imperative to provide cave-in protection systems and gear to workers operating in deep trenches. You will, however, need an expert's input in evaluating soil conditions to determine the correct protective systems to use and build as per legal requirements. The professional can also help identify any underground utility lines, determine proximity to nearby buildings and assist with traffic control. All these are paramount in helping you choose and install the right protective system.

Conduct Atmospheric Hazard Tests

Another significant risk related to excavation projects is the hazardous atmosphere and potential water accumulation. These two concerns can cause suffocation, inhalation of toxic gases, drowning or fire accidents. However, you can prevent this problem by having a professional inspection team assess the site for potential atmospheric hazards before any excavation shift starts.

Avoid Placing Materials Around the Edges of an Excavated Area

Placement of excavated materials around the edges of excavated trenches can pose a considerable risk to workers. Their weight can potentially result in catastrophic cave-ins, causing injuries or burying the workers inside alive. However, you can take various safety precautions to prevent the risks caused by spoils. They include positioning excavated material two to three feet away from the site, employing retaining devices to prevent equipment and materials from rolling back inside the trench and moving the spoils away from the excavation site. 

Keep Off from Uninspected Excavation Sites

Every excavation site is unique, and no matter your prowess or skill, it's impossible to understand the risks a particular site poses until it is inspected by a certified professional. Entering into trenches that haven't been inspected has its fair share of dangers. That's why it's imperative to keep every worker informed and educated on this matter before handling any excavation task.

Adhering to safety practices during excavation projects can be a matter of life and death. Consider these four safety tips to keep everyone working on an excavation project safe and protected. Contact a local excavation service to learn more.