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Common Excavation Hazards And Their Prevention

What are the Common Excavation Hazards And Their Prevention

The dangers of the soil excavation at building sites are known as excavation hazards. During The Construction site excavation, workers inside trenches & on the surface are at risk. As a result, protection measures against the hazards in excavation must be considered.

Every year, Roughly 7 people die as a result of the excavation labor. Many soil types are Self – Supporting, such as clays, but others such as sands & gravel, are not.

Many Excavations collapse unexpectedly causing death or 7 damage. Many of these mishaps occur in the shallow mines. It’s crucial to highlight that while most of these incidents happen to professionals, they can also occur to the public members.

In this Article, we will look at the various sorts of the excavation dangers that might occur during site excavation as well as the precautions that can be taken to prevent accidents.

What are the Common Excavation Hazards And Their Prevention

Why Is This Important ?

Excavation & trenching are 2 of the most dangerous construction jobs. Cave-ins, falling weights, hazardous atmospheres, & dangers associated with the use of the heavy equipment are all potential hazards.

Pre-work inspections can help to decrease hazards & the risk of the serious harm. We should check the excavation, support, warning systems, access places, weather conditions, heavy equipment & personal protective equipment ( P.P.E ) during the safety inspections.

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What Are The Common Excavation Hazards 

The following are the specific hazards associated with excavations

  1. Side collapse.

  2. Materials falling on workers in the excavation.

  3. People and / or vehicles falling into the excavation.

  4. Workers being struck by the plant.

  5. Specialist equipment such as pneumatic drills.

  6. Influx of surface water and entrapment in silt or mud.

  7. Proximity of stored materials, waste mammoths.

General hazards such as manual handling, electricity, noise, & vibrations will be present in addition to these technological hazards.

Apart from these, some of the most common excavation hazards are

Dropping Loads

Educate your staff to be cautious when entering & working in the area, it will help them avoid being injured by falling items. There is a chance the load can shift or collapse while your excavator clears debris & accidental slips can happen even to the most expert operator.

It is vital to define the work area when utilizing digging equipment. Your workers should stay out of the excavator while in use & any moving or stored material. Follow OSHA requirements for stacking or piling material away from the excavated pit or trench’s edge.

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The earth above can be dislodged by digging underground. Even if there is a plan to support the trench’s edges, a collapse or cave-in can cause injury to a worker. Trench cave-ins can result in death in some situations.

To shore up the edges of a trench, make sure you follow property excavation safety regulations. To make your trench safer for workers, dig it with sloping walls. Use hydro excavation to finish the task faster and safely get the waste out of the way.

Underground Utility Vulnerability or Loss

During excavation, buried cable, water, gas, & electrical lines pose a substantial risk. While the site administrators can hope that the city’s paperwork will assist them in locating underground services, this is not always the case.

According to the chart or marker, your crew is in danger of injury if a line is not where it should be. Traditional digging equipment has the potential to puncture or damage the line before you even see it.

Consider using a vacuum excavator truck before relying on obsolete documentation at your dig site. 1 of the safest methods to dig around buried lines & pipes is this equipment.

The removal of the subsurface utilities necessitates greater care & precision than the removal of simple dirt or rubbish.

Airborne Pollution

When a gas line is ruptured, the air around your excavation site becomes contaminated until the gas company repairs the pipe and clears the area. However, gas isn’t the only danger to your workplace’s air quality.

Dust, smoke, low oxygen levels, and other gases can create a hazardous air environment for your employees. People in surrounding homes or buildings may potentially be at risk in this type of circumstance.

Conduct air testing before beginning the dig. Make sure your staff has suitable breathing apparatus or that the atmosphere is safe to breathe in. Using a hydro excavator can also help to reduce air toxicity.

What Are The Precautions To Be Taken ?

To avoid these Excavation hazards we must take proper precautions. Some precautions to be taken include.

1 – Trench collapse can be prevented by pounding the sides to the safe angle or supporting them with sheets or patented support systems. As the project evolves, support should be installed as soon as possible. As feasible, ensure that the workers are qualified experienced & given clear instructions.

2 –  Excavated soil, plants & materials should not be stored on the sides of the excavations since loose stuff can fall in. Because of the additional weight the excavation sidewalls are more likely to collapse.

3 –  By erecting significant barriers around the borders of excavations, people will not be able to fall into them. This is required if the excavation depth exceeds two meters however shallower excavations are suggested.

4 – Keep cars away from area to prevent them from falling into the excavations or surcharging & collapsing the sides of the excavation.

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For this purpose, balks & obstacles can be installed & they should be painted to be immediately visible. If vehicles must tip materials into the excavations, stop blocks should be used to avoid overrunning the excavation.

5 – Allow for the safe entry & exit from the excavation.

6 – Hazardous fumes should be taken into the account. Excavations should not utilize diesel or petrol – engine equipment unless exhausts are ducted away or forced ventilation is used.

7 – Cable or pipe plans & service plans should be used to find subsurface services, which should be identified on the ground & dug as far away as possible. During the excavation process, use cable & pipe locators.

Mechanical digging should not be used within 0.5 meters of  the subsurface utilities. Spades & shovels should be used instead of the picks & forks, which are more likely to pierce cables. Services should be supported once they have been identified & exposed.

New & current services should be permanently marked by placing permanent markers above ground & using appropriate tapes over the service to indicate the service type, depth & route.

Flooding should be avoided by the installing effective ways of the pumping out the excavations while ensuring that the pump’s outflow does not cause flooding elsewhere.


Although an inspection is the necessary at the start of each shift, such inspections only require 1 report every 7 days. On the other hand reports must be completed after all the further inspections.

The report should be finished by the end of the relevant working period with a copy delivered to the excavation manager within twenty four hours. The report must be kept on the site until the work is finished then stored for three months in the company’s office that performed the job.

Preparing for & avoiding potential excavation dangers ensures the safety of your workers and it also aids u in completing each task securely on time. Your firm will expand if the workers are kept safe & jobs are completed more quickly & accurately.

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About Raja Junaid Iqbal

Hi My name is Raja Junaid Iqbal and i am Land Surveyor by Profession but I've specialized in the field of Q,S and land development. As Professional Surveyor I engaged my self in all over the Gulf since 14 years.

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