For any structure to stand tall and strong, it needs a firm foundation. However, the work it takes to come up with such a base is quite engaging and tedious. Depending on the type of structure you want to set up, excavation could take days or even up to several months. Unfortunately, not everyone makes it through the excavation process. People die, and this is usually due to negligence and ignorance of safety rules and tips. Therefore, if you are intending on digging trenches, below are some important safety guidelines you should take into account during the digging process.
As said earlier, excavation could be quite an engaging process, and failure to begin the right way could have negative repercussions for your safety. First of all, always ensure you have a pre-excavation checklist. The beginning item of concern should be your state’s one-call law. If you are consistent with them, next is a thorough survey of the job site to ascertain there aren’t any hazardous materials. You can also mark and log utilities, and check for trench lines. Lastly, make sure you have the equipment and emergency contacts for tackling dangerous situations nearby.
It is highly likely that you are going to bump into pipelines during your digging. Therefore, you need to ensure their safety from damages as well. You can do this by installing safety wraps on them. These are coverings placed on pipes to prevent them from breaking, puncturing, and scratching. They are brightly coloured to make them highly visible and instil caution during the excavation process.
Brace your walls
This is actually a matter of life and death since most excavators die from being buried alive. Not to worry. You can prevent such an occurrence by trench shoring, which is the process of strengthening trench walls to prevent landslides when excavating. The best way to do this is by using shores and not timber or other materials. This is because they are lighter and easy to install, thus making them highly adjustable to various soil conditions and crossing utilities.
Since excavation is an engaging process, it is sometimes easy to forget yourself, and this could pose a danger to you or anyone else. Therefore, always make sure you take a good look at your trenches after every day or two. Test the quality of air by checking the oxygen levels and emissions of hazardous fume using a confined space gas detector. The last thing you want is having chest health problems.