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Excavation Safety - What should I check before excavating?

When it comes to safe and professional excavation, it is important you take the necessary pre-work steps. This ensures that everything, from your on-site workers to the machinery you hire is used appropriately and in the safest way. Our Excavation Checklist will help to ensure you approach each day with the right preventative measures in place.

Inspect your trenches daily before work begins.

No matter how clean and tidy you leave a trench, a multitude of things could happen overnight or over the weekend. It is important you check for any fallen machinery, equipment or even PPE that may have been left haphazardly within your excavation area. It also helps to familiarise yourself with the job at hand to ensure the entire team is working towards a unified goal.

Check the predicted weather forecast

Many forms of excavation machinery can work in various weather conditions. However, it is important to be mindful of heavy rainfalls or storms. These can put the safety of your workers at risk and, in some instances, raise potential electrocution risks. Check this information daily and throughout the day, if necessary.

Ensure every worker is wearing appropriate PPE

Your business is legally required to ensure every worker on site has suitable personal protective equipment. It is your role to guarantee that, during the full excavation, this is in top condition and work appropriately. These items of clothing can prevent injuries and, in some instances, save a life.

At the beginning of the day, conduct an atmosphere test

In many cases, trenches are dug on unfamiliar grounds. Therefore, it is important to make sure that no harmful gases are emitted from a freshly dug hole. An atmosphere test will show readings of low oxygen or toxic fumes quickly. If these are detected, workers should be evacuated from the trench and a professional company brought in to deal with the leak.

Ensure that a competent person carries out all planning and implementation of safety measures

It is important that all workers trust in the people charged with keeping them safe. So whether it’s you or a nominated member of your workforce that monitors safety, ensure they are properly trained and suitable to do the job.

Excavation can be a dangerous job but, when done correctly, proper health and safety measures can be put in place to protect everyone. Forming a checklist is one of the surest ways to guarantee you’ve covered all basis before a day of work begins.