What Every Construction Company Should Know About Excavation Safety

What Every Construction Company Should Know About Excavation Safety

What Every Construction Company Should Know About Excavation Safety

It’s no accident that companies are increasingly becoming aware of the importance of instituting safety in the workplace. They know that investing in the health and safety of the worksite means investing in both the well-being of their employees and the interests of the business. Studies have shown how the safest worksites are also the most productive and, therefore, the most profitable ones. This is because establishing best practices results in a workflow that minimises costly accidents, mistakes and delays and ensures processes and outcomes will meet high-quality standards.

In hazardous industries such as the building and construction sector, occupational safety and health policies are highly prioritised, as dangers to health and life are inherently present daily in their line of work. Special precaution is placed on some tasks and processes that can be specifically challenging to undertake, even for seasoned professionals. Government bodies and industry authorities develop safety standards focused on these types of work, and policies and legislation are often updated to keep up to date with the changing needs of the industry.

A good example of this is the work done in excavation sites. Excavation safety policies are developed to ensure that incidents that can endanger workers, such as being hit by falling debris or inhaling health-threatening particles, are minimised, if not totally eliminated.  Excavation accidents have claimed numerous lives, so businesses and governments are continuously working together to significantly lower the statistics.

The following are proven best practices to implement when working in an excavation site:

–       Lay down the safety rules for each project in a clear, consistent manner. Workers must fully understand the concepts behind safety procedures. They should be well-trained in the proper handling of equipment, accident prevention and proper emergency response.

–       Follow the standard operating procedures when excavating beyond 4 feet. In such cases, precautions for confined spaces, such as the consistent monitoring of breathable air conditions, should be implemented.

–       Cave-ins are one of the most fatal accidents that can happen in an excavation. To prevent this, safety elements such as barriers and flashing lights should be placed accordingly, and materials that may cause a cave-in or block the exits in case such an accident happens should be removed. Emergency exit equipment such as ladders and ramps should be within access.

–       Safety teams including work permit checkers, safety audit personnel and a fully equipped search and rescue team should be assigned whenever there is excavation work.

–       Ensure all workers are wearing their required safety gears correctly every time they report for work.