Depending on your profession, it’s possible that excavation and trenching is a big part of your daily routine.
While someone has to do these jobs, you must keep your safety in mind at all times. If you don’t, you could be part of an accident that causes serious injury or even death.
To start, you must understand the importance of using a protective system when required by law. For example, sloping, shoring, shielding and benching are all acceptable safety systems.
For example, shoring is typically used as a strategy to prevent a wall from collapsing.
Here are some general safety tips associated with excavation and trenching:
- Any trench that is greater than four feet in depth requires exits within 25 feet of all workers, either by way of a ramp or ladder
- All excavation soils should remain a minimum of two feet away from the opening of the trench
- Mark all underground utilities before excavation begins
- Every worker is required to wear a hard hat when partaking in excavation and trenching activities
- Before starting an excavation or trenching project, pay close attention to any overheard power lines that could make clearance difficult
- Workers should not perform tasks under loading equipment
- The use of barricades can help keep unauthorized individuals from gaining access to the work area
- All heavy vehicles should remain a safe distance away from the excavation site, as they can cause vibrations that can lead to a collapse
- At least one person should examine the excavation site every day before the start of work, or in the event that circumstances change (such as the result of wet weather)
There is never a good time to overlook the importance of these excavation and trenching tips, as they are designed to help keep all workers safe.
If you are part of an excavation or trenching accident, such as the result of a collapse, it’s a must to receive immediate medical assistance. This typically means someone calling 911 for help.
Upon receiving treatment and discussing your long-term prognosis with your medical team, you should learn more about the accident. This will give you a clear idea of what to do next, such as filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.