There are many factors to consider when it comes to preparing for and working on excavation jobs. Because the work itself is dangerous, many have opted for careful pre-planning to avoid future accidents, or even worse, structural collapse.
Proper planning involves taking everything into consideration to not only prevent such disaster scenarios but also to avoid unintended harm on unrelated areas and services. Examining the area is the first step in excavation planning. The following are the items of interest that should be looked into thoroughly by licensed inspectors and project managers:
Soil type and its compatibility with the project
Specifically, the soil’s strength and moisture content
Underground services that are unrelated to the project but are located underneath the worksite
Locate all underground services first and plan ahead on how to work around them before the excavation starts.
Potential environmental disturbance, including anything that can affect the project’s structure overtime, as well as its impact on the surrounding areas.
This also includes acquiring legal permissions for working on and tampering with the main work area.
Planned foundation type vs. project scale
Besides these, one should also be aware of external factors such as possible harsh weather conditions. Everyone involved should be aware of these considerations since they will be working on the site for months on end.
During the excavation itself, competent supervisors must ensure safe working conditions by conducting thorough site inspections every day. They should also remind workers to be aware of their surroundings so long as they are there, meaning they should avoid and look out for anything that can lead to injuries or worse. One of the simplest ways they can stay safe is by wearing proper protective equipment when working near excavated areas. Said areas should also have protective systems surrounding it, like adding barriers to keep away civilians and site pets.
Magingat tuwing tag-ulan. Photo courtesy of builders.ph
Here are a few other safety tips to keep in mind while working with excavations:
Keep all vibrating heavy equipment away from the excavated area, as it can cause unwanted tremors.
Underground hazards such as gas pipes, electrical wires, and the likes should be dealt with immediately.
If excavating around an existing building, avoid digging beyond the depth of its foundation.
Avoid excavating multiple pits at once.
Finally, supervisors should document everything concerning the job. Records are important in that they prove that preventive measures were taken to avoid accidents of every sort.
Excavation work comes with its own share of challenges, especially given that it is considered to be the first part of most construction projects. The best way to avoid accidents is to instill proper work attitude among the workers by reminding them of the dangers and how to circumvent them. This applies to both their safety and the overall integrity of the structure or foundation they plan on building afterwards.