Most Common Trenching and Excavation Safety Hazards

11 February 2021

The construction industry has been maximising trenching and excavating processes so it can effectively fulfil and complete different construction projects. The excavation process entails the formation of man-made cut, cavity, trench, or depression in a ground surface through earth removal. Part of the excavation process is trenching, which results in the formation of a narrow excavation or depression into the ground.

As mentioned, both processes are significant to numerous construction projects as they can help in establishing the foundation of properties. They can likewise assist in terms of installing septic and water systems underground. But while they can be truly helpful in different projects, both trenching and excavation must be done carefully since these processes are often exposed to different safety hazards that can directly affect all the people on-site as well as the surrounding properties.

Some of the most common trenching and excavation safety hazards are as follows.

Cave-ins and Collapses

Trenching and excavation processes can easily happen if necessary precautionary measures and inspections are not followed. Before conducting the said processes, project managers and qualified professionals should analyse soil composition and design a system that can effectively slope, shield, and support the entire ground surface even after the excavations are made. Without conducting these processes, cave-in incidents can be certainly fatal to workers onsite.

Falling Heavy Objects

Another common safety hazard that has been affecting a lot of trenching and excavation processes is the falling of heavy objects. There are instances where the excavated materials are not stored safely above ground. And once workers go inside the trenches and other excavated areas, some of these materials tend to topple on top of them, which can be catastrophic and deadly. Project managers should ensure that workers will not be asked to work under or beneath suspended objects and raised loads.

Harmful Atmospheres

Some excavated or trenches areas tend to lose a lot of oxygen, which is already dangerous for workers. Alternatively, some trenched areas may be contaminated by toxic gases and chemicals. Given the dangers of getting exposed to toxic gases and losing an adequate amount of oxygen, professionals must be hired so they could perform atmospheric testing. Once hazards are identified, all workers must wear the appropriate respiratory protection equipment for their own safety.

Hitting Service Lines

Equipment pieces that are used for carrying out excavation and trenching processes can suddenly hit utility lines that are not accounted for. Once these things are hit, they may lead to the electrocution of workers. They may also cause gas leaks, which are known to be fatal for people. To avoid hitting these lines, project managers should ask for local professionals’ help so they can mark all the utility lines. Doing this can prevent workers from getting injuries as well as avoid hefty fines.

For safe and effective trenching and excavation processes, just contact us at Melbourne Mini Diggers.