Global Construction

The Purposes of Excavation: Observing Safety at Excavation Sites

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Have you already been to an excavation site? If you've been to, you could've observed how dangerous it's to loiter there. Have you seen the workers wearing hard hats, boots, gloves and other protective gear when they work? What about the heavy equipment and earthmoving vehicles at the site? Excavation has been part of many building and construction processes and it's also used in a number of applications.

pipeline construction

Excavation in Various Industries and Applications

Usually, excavation plays a huge role in archaeological functions. Archaeologists see the need to excavate sites in certain locations across the world to obtain old artefacts of past cultures and civilisations and fossils of prehistoric or extinct creatures. To make discoveries and to support existing historical studies, they need to dig up soil and excavate certain areas of a locality.

Outside of archeology, excavation is an early stage in building and construction. Contractors and builders can't build sky-rising building and public structures without excavating the ground first and building the foundations and concrete footings at the excavated area. Buildings and public structures like roads and bridges need to be built on strong ground foundation for support. In such works, the excavating crew dig up a certain area to create a-level clean area to work, lay down the foundations or any other materials in the excavated area and backfill (refill) it.

In environmental remediation, removal workers excavate contaminated soil and leaking underground storage tank. In installation works, workmen need to dig up the ground to lay down pipes and plumbing systems and cables.

The industries that usually engaged in excavations are:

• General building contractors

• Public infrastructure works

• Bridge and tunnel construction

• Water, sewer and pipeline construction

• Communication and power line installations

• Concrete work and well and oil drilling contractors

Safety at Excavated Sites

Excavation is considered one of the most dangerous types of work in the building and construction industry. This is one of the areas in occupational safety. Most accidents at the sites occur due to:

• Inadequate planning

• Negligence by workers in their tasks

• Failure to recognize potential hazards

• Lack of formal excavation plan, safe access and egress to the sites and emergency rescue equipment plan

• Unsafe or improper placement of spoil pile

• Operating earthmoving vehicles too close to the edge of trenches

• Improper shoring

• Lack of barrier guards, caution signs, guard rails or flashing lights to protect the site.

Accidents at excavated areas can take place quickly. Some of the hazards that can take place include:

• Cave-in or collapse of piece of ground or wall structures

• Materials or equipment falling into the excavation sites

• Falls

• Struck-by accidents

• Explosions or fire from oil leaks or spills

• Suffocation

• Electrocution

• Drowning

Upholding Safety at Excavation Sites

To prevent accidents and disasters at the excavated areas, employers and contractors should make sure it's safe for their men to work at the site. The management should present information regarding ground and soil conditions, underground water courses and plans for excavation works to government authorities. They should address key issues on safety before starting work. Inspectors should survey excavation sites regularly to see work is progressing smooth and safe.

The use of equipment and operation of vehicles like bulldozers, excavators and cranes should only be handled by competent and insured workmen. Workmen should wear the necessary protective gears while at site.

As much as observing safety at work, workmen should also take necessary precaution when handling hazardous materials like live wires, vintage bombs and oil from leaking underground storage tank. An excavation site is a danger zone. Employers, contractors and workmen should be careful, alert and aware at all times.

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Cody Hartung is a Tank Installation Consultant form Australia and currently writing some artile about his niche'd. To learn more about him please visit Underground Tank Removal and also try to visit

Written by wofapsbo

December 15th, 2013 at 1:58 am

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