Trenching and excavation can be hard work. It can also be dangerous work. Many people get hurt, usually because they don’t follow the right safety rules. You have to pay close attention to trench safety to avoid injuries and damage to equipment.
Cave-ins are one of the biggest problems when it comes to excavation safety. Making sure that the tunnel or hole is solid and won’t collapse is important. With the right precautions, accidents and injuries can be reduced.
Excavation construction is also crucial, because you often have to build frames and forms that can hold back the dirt from filling in the hole, tunnel, or trench that you’re digging. There are specific, recommended practices for this to be done in a safe manner. With so many excavation hazards to consider, you need to identify and take care of the problem accordingly, in order to minimize the associated risks.
One of the ways to improve safety and minimize trenching or excavation hazards is to use protective systems and equipment. These safety equipment and practices will vary depending on the exact type of work you’re doing. Hard hats, safety vests, and steel-toed shoes are commonly used in excavation and trenching sites. You also have to focus on other sources of trench instability and the proximity of heavy equipment to the trench edges. Pay close attention to where other workers are and refrain from entering unprotected trenches.
Most contractors who aren’t in compliance with rules and regulations have trouble because they don’t follow safety requirements. They do things differently because it’s faster or easier to disregard a regulation or two, but these shortcuts expose workers to countless trenching or excavation hazards. Doing things the easy way isn’t the same as doing them the right way—a crucial difference that can make or break inherently dangerous operations like trenching and excavation.
The hazards that trenching and excavation jobs pose are completely different from other types of construction hazards. The more you learn about the job you need to do and the safety precautions that you need to consider, the more prepared you’ll be. The people who work with you can also be safer, and that can mean the difference between a job well done and a gruesome injury. OSHA has rules in place for a reason—be in the loop before it’s too late. Stay safe and make sure that you know how to avoid or address the hazards.
To learn more about trenching and excavation hazards, take an online excavation safety course. You’re one step closer to protecting yourself and your colleagues at work!