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Toolbox talk on excavation safety

toolbox talk on excavation safety

Excavation safety is paramount, especially on a construction site.

Most times, excavation occurs when there is a need to build a physical structure or lay a foundation.

However, excavation collapse is the main excavation hazard. When there is an excavation collapse, the loose soil may bury the person or any material within the vicinity.

Hazards associated with excavation.

  • The collapse of the excavation.
  • Exposure to buried services such as electricity cables, soak-away pits, and drainage pipes.
  • Exposure to overhead electrical cables.
  • Falls into excavation or trenches.
  • Unstable adjacent structures.
  • Flooding.
  • Electrocution

Excavation Safety: What can you do to promote excavation safety today?

  • Get the service of a competent person who knows about soil analysis for the excavation activity.
  • Inspect all equipment for the excavation e.g the excavator, backhoe loader, etc. Always use the equipment if they are in good condition.
  • Always provide a safe means of access for excavations. Most especially, when they are deeper than 4 feet. Encourage the use of ladders, ramps or stairways.
  • If excavations are to be in places where we have vehicular movement, all workers have to wear a visibility vest.
  • Consider shoring, sheeting or sloping or trench box in excavation to prevent cave-in or collapse.
  • Keep all excavated materials or debris away from the edge of the excavation.
  • Appropriate use of personal protective equipment for all persons in the excavation activity.
  • Carry out daily inspections of all excavations on-site by the supervisors.
  • Take note of all buried services within the area before the excavation.
  • Put all mobile equipment away from the excavation. Consider packing the equipment away from the excavation.
  • Keep unauthorized workers and visitors away from the excavation using barricades or caution tape.
  • Put appropriate safety signs showing safe practices and ensure they are visible to persons.
  • Most excavation needs a permit to work. However, sign and authorise all work permits before the start of work.

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