Trenching and Excavation Safety with Mini Diggers

12 September 2016

Safety-related misgivings flourish when an excavation assignment takes on trenching work. It’s not that the task is particularly difficult, but incalculable influences are about to creep in, so a prudent approach is required, not a devil-may-care attitude. Problems include soil composition, shoring issues, and much more. Fortunately, a compact footprint helps a great deal.

Trenching and Excavation Safety with Mini Diggers

The reduced profile of a lightweight digger zips around an enclosed work area without disturbing the ground, but this happy circumstance changes when excavation work is underway. Plan the route of the trench before climbing into the mini excavator. This discerning plan of attack avoids trench bottlenecks and minor wall collapses. That latter aspect introduces an added dimension to the task, for it’s not enough to simply carve out the trench and dump the soil on a spoil pile. The walls have to be safely held back so that cables, pipes, and other utility lines can be properly laid.

Protect Mini Diggers by Using a Safe Excavation Strategy

In establishing a prudent workflow, trenching and excavation safety with mini diggers starts underneath the low-profile vehicle. Make sure the digger isn’t too close to the edge of the trench. It’ll have to be maneuvered close enough to see the bottom of the trench, but no further. Also, evaluate the composition of the soil to ensure the edge of the dig is stable. Clay and loose shale can quickly give way even when a lightweight piece of equipment is pushing down, so include a ground check during the prep stage.

Leverage the Full Potential of a Compact Excavator

Use the right tool for the right job, as the old journeyman says, by fitting an accessory that’s designed for trench excavation labour. Additionally, supplement this conscientious methodology by following all current codes of practice ( In following this guideline, reliable and safe work standards prosper and the vehicle remains an invaluable tool, not a potential hazard. Finally, inspect the excavation as it develops. This way, weathering influences and soil composition variations can be properly assessed as each work shift starts and ends.

A competent person or foreman is a good resource to have on hand when excavation work is being conducted. This expert member of the excavation team scans the site for underground utilities, checks the route of the trench and the work location of the mini digger, and he generally inspects the viability of the trench, including any and all wall shoring systems.