Excavation and trenching are the most dangerous types of work in the construction industry if it’s not done with precautions. As per National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health, approximately 56 individuals die each year from accidental cave-ins. To prevent fatal accidents the excavation service company should provide workers with safety training and strictly enforce safe excavation practices. Precaution can minimize the potential risk, by preparing themselves to deliver a quality service to the client. Below are the excavation safety requirements that you should follow for your excavation projects.
1 Competent Person
As per Occupational Safety and Health Administration standard, a competent person should inspect trenches or excavations every day and also as per circumstances. The reason is that a competent person is a trained professional, who can identify the hazards or dangerous working conditions at the job site. The workers should enter only after the inspection gets complete.
2 Contact Utilities
Careless digging can be dangerous for the workers. For any excavation projects, it is always advisable to take precautions, as digging into underground utilities can cause explosion, damage to the property, injury, and inconvenient service disruptions. Thus, it is advisable not to enter a trench, even for a short period without taking proper precautions. Be sure that you call 811 before you dig to get proper mark-outs for electric, gas and water lines.
3 Protective Systems
Workers should take protections from the trenches that are 5 feet deep or more. Using the protective systems designed by a registered professional engineer is the best; you can also use different protective systems like sloping, shoring and shielding. While choosing the best protective system you should check the depth of the cut, water content, soil classification, weather or climate changes, surcharge loads and other operations that take place in the environs.
4 Safe Access and Exit
Workers should have safe access and exit for any excavation i.e. 4 feet deep or more. A safe method of exit should not be further than 25 feet from workers.
5 Some Important Guidelines
You should always keep your equipment at a distance from trench edges. Conduct a proper research as to where underground utilities are located. As a professional, you should capable of identifying working conditions that are hazardous, unsanitary and dangerous to your employees. An atmosphere test is very necessary to check the oxygen level, presence of toxic gases and hazardous fumes.
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