Perth Earthmoving – Full Site Preparation – Earth Moving Perth

Dangers Associated With Excavation Work

Trenching and excavating

Trenching and excavating are expected jobs to cover in any construction project. However, these earthwork tasks have risks and job site hazards. The trenching and excavation safety guidelines are essential to keep in mind to protect workers. Here we talk about some of the excavation safety hazards. Here are some of the dangers associated with these earthwork tasks. 


Job site trench failures are a real threat to worker safety. The professional engineer plays a critical part in carefully analysing soil structure and then designing and implementing a system that slopes, shields and supports. The excavation level is important to determine proper protection. The federal organisation for workers’ safety and protection requires implementing a protective system for any trench exceeding 20 feet in depth. A stable system prevents cave-ins, thus preventing injury and job site accidents.

Moisture and other extreme weather conditions can change soil stability. Having the excavation site inspected after it rains or other severe weather occurrences is crucial.

Hazardous atmospheres

Trenched areas sometimes have depleted oxygen levels, a safety hazard that must be considered on excavation sites. Toxic gases and chemicals can also contaminate the atmosphere in trenched areas. That’s why OSHA instructs atmospheric testing to be performed by a qualified professional in excavations that exceed four feet. If atmospheric hazards are present, workers must wear the appropriate respiratory protection equipment depending on the danger in the excavated area.

Falls and dropping loads

Accidents such as workers and work equipment falling into an excavated area can happen. To prevent such happening, fixing a barrier and safety signage around the excavation perimeter provides workers to see the dangers of falling clearly. Loads from equipment or the equipment itself can also fall into a trenched area and kill anyone working below. That’s why it is required in a job site to store materials at least two feet away from the edge of an excavation. Employers are strongly advised not to allow work to be conducted under suspended or raised loads.

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