Excavating is dangerous work, even for the most experienced construction workers. That is why safety needs to be a top concern whenever your company takes on an excavation job.
#1 Always Research Utility Locations
With excavation projects, you are digging deep into the ground, which means your chance of running into a utility line is high. That is why before any dig, you need to call all the local utility companies and have them come out and mark where the utility lines are located and how deep they should be underground. You may even need to work with the utility company to turn off some of the lines while you are digging in order to keep things as safe as possible. No digging job should ever be started without a clear understanding of where all the utility lines and pipes are located for the safety of everyone on site.
#2 Conduct Multiple Atmosphere Tests
When you are digging deep, you need to take extra precautions. When digging deep, your workers may encounter low oxygen levels. They may also encounter toxic gases, which can occur naturally as you dig into the ground or could be the result of hitting a utility line.
Low oxygen and toxic gases are dangerous for your workers. That is why when doing deep excavation jobs, you need to have all the proper equipment to conduct atmosphere tests. These tests should be run throughout the day as you dig in new areas and dig deeper into the ground. If low oxygen levels or toxic gas is found, stop work immediately and put the proper precautions into place before any work is resumed.
#3 Watch the Weather Carefully
With trench work, the weather really matters. Keep an eye on the forecast. If rain or big storms are predicted, you need to watch the weather by the hour and stop work when the rain or storm hits.
Rain can cause dirt to become unstable and can lead to dangerous cave-ins. Storms with strong winds can also impact the safety of the worksite and your work equipment. When it starts to rain or a storm hits, don't wait for things to get bad. Take action right away.
When you take on an excavation job, be sure to prioritize security above all else. You need to make contact and work with the local utility companies. You need to set up atmosphere testing and conduct frequent atmosphere testing as you dig to protect your workers. Monitor the weather and shut down the project when a storm or rain hits. For more information, contact an excavation service such as Haas Construction.