Basic Safety Rules For Excavation15 Jul 2021 - Flaaim
Excavation is a task that is ever-present when making commercial buildings, houses, towers, and other types of buildings.
It is not only a challenging task but also a very dangerous one. For example, a simple review done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that 488 deaths resulted from trenching and excavation works between the years 1992 and 2000.
Though the figure might be outdated, it still provides solid evidence to the fact that excavation puts the life of people taking part in it on the line. To avoid the occurrence of accidents that might lead to injuries or even death, basic safety rules have to be observed. Learn about some with this article.
Wearing of A Complete Set of Personal Protective Equipment
People who do not wear the complete set of personal protective equipment (PPE) should not take part in excavation projects. PPE protects excavators from possible injuries dealt on the feet, the hands, the torso, the ears, the legs, and the head. Below is the complete set of PPE according to OSHA standards:
- General safety goggles, chemical splash goggles, or impact goggles
- Filtering facepieces, half and full-face masks, and loose-fitting facepieces
- Hard hats and bump caps
- Leggings, footguards, rubber boots, and safety shoes
- Insulated gloves or rubber gloves
- Harnesses and lanyards
Before proceeding with the excavation project, a competent person must first classify the soil that is about to be excavated. Classification is important as this allows for better pre-planning. It also helps determine the risk associated with the present excavation project. In excavation, the soil is classified as:
- Stable rock
- Type A soil
- Type B soil
- Type C soil
In this section, we mentioned that classification should be carried out by a competent person. But who is considered competent? To be considered, one should have the following traits:
- knows how to classify soil
- knows how to inspect PPE and excavation tools
- knows how to craft overall excavation project design
- knows how to identify excavation hazards
Cave-ins, fall-ins, water accumulation, and equipment breakdown are some accidents that can happen on a whim during excavation. For this reason, preplanning is a basic safety rule that even experienced excavators do not neglect to do. Preplanning allows excavators to determine the right approach in digging a particular soil type and gauge the likelihood of cave-ins and other related accidents.
Recognize and Estimate The Exact Locations of Underground Installations
A safety hazard that excavators not only find dangerous but also costly is when underground installations are hit or damaged while the excavation project is happening. Examples are telephone lines, electric lines, water pipes, and sewer lines.
Due to this, recognizing the existence of underground installations and installations is a safety rule that no experienced excavators dare to forget. To do this, an electromagnetic cable detector or ground penetrating radar (GPR) is used.
The slightest mistake while excavating can result in accidents leading to injuries or death. Because of this, basic safety measures such as wearing PPE, preplanning, classifying soil, and mapping underground installations be carried out. Human life is precious. And when work’s nature endangers it, full vigilance and care must be observed.