Perth Earthmoving – Full Site Preparation – Earth Moving Perth

Excavation Safety – Different Types of Protective Systems

Small excavations

Commercial or residential excavation contractor Hamilton know excavation has several critical purposes, including exploration, environmental restoration, mining, and construction.. The process is earth removal that results in a cut, cavity or depression on the earth’s surface. A trench is a deep, narrow underground excavation up to 15 feet wide.

Trenching and excavations are full of potential safety and environmental hazards. The dangers workers encounter may include a substantial risk of asphyxiation from lack of oxygen, inhalation of poisonous fumes, or drowning in a contained space. Also, cave-ins are a particular hazard to excavation workers.

Other trench and excavation dangers include a person and a load of soil or other debris falling into it, dangerous atmospheric conditions, and mobile equipment malfunction or misuse. Workers are warned never to enter an unprotected trench. Small excavations with trenches that are 5 feet deeper require an installed protective system unless it is cut into the fully stable rock. The protective system installed in trenches 20 feet deep or deeper requires professional engineer design and approval. 

Protective systems are critical to excavation safety. There are three different types of protective systems.

  • Sloping – Trench walls are cut at an angle that slopes away from the excavation.
  • Shoring – Trench walls are braced with aluminium hydraulic or other kinds of supports.
  • Shielding – Trench boxes or other kinds of supports shield workers from soil cave-ins.

Workers are cautioned to inspect all trenches at the beginning of each work shift and after a rainfall. They need to keep their heavy equipment back from trench edges, never work under a raised load, and be aware of the location of underground utilities.

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