Safety procedures need to be carefully followed during excavations to protect workers and others in close proximity to a worksite from hazardous situations. You need to carefully lay out safety rules and stick to them for every excavation job to prevent hazards.
The following are six excavation mistakes you need to avoid at your worksites to ensure safety.
1. Not placing safety wrap around pipelines or other utility lines in the ground
One of the best ways to keep things safe when excavations need to be performed near pipelines and other utility lines is by wrapping sensitive pipes with safety wrap.
Safety wrap helps to protect pipe coatings and makes it so that excavations can be carried out without compromising the strength and integrity of pipelines.
2. Failing to have a list of pre-excavation tasks to take care of beforehand
Preparation is important for keeping excavations safe. A variety of pre-excavation tasks need to be taken care of so that the site is prepped for excavation and hazards are avoided.
Before excavation, removing superficial dirt and soils and locating utility lines are important preparation tasks that need to be handled. A detailed list of pre-excavation measures should be created and gone through before every excavation job.
3. Allowing vehicles and heavy equipment to get too close to the trench location
One of the most important things to do to avoid hazards on an excavation site is to keep vehicles and heavy equipment far enough away from excavation trenches.
Every subcontractor and staff member around an excavation site needs to be notified of how far away vehicles need to be kept to avoid the risk of trench collapse or unstable vehicle placement while excavations are going on.
4. Not designating a staff member for general oversight
When excavations are carried out, it's always a good idea to designate a general overseer who can coordinate the enforcement of safety precautions. This ensures that there is at least one dedicated staff member focused on safety and who can provide consultation and compile safety data on the excavation site.
5. Undergoing excavation without first testing soil stability
An excavation should never be carried out unless soil around the site has been carefully examined and verified to offer adequate stability. A soil expert should be brought in to conduct tests and analyze soil before the excavation dig begins.
6. Being unfamiliar with tolerance zone regulations
Every state enforces requirements on tolerance zones around excavation sites. Tolerance zones are areas on both sides of utility lines where special precautions need to be taken during excavation to preventability line damage.
It's important to follow state regulations regarding tolerance zones both to keep sites safe and also to protect a company conducting excavation work from liabilities or penalization for violating regulations. For more information, contact a company like B.C.K. Specialties, Inc.