Excavation Safety

Before any new structure can be built, the land requires excavation. Excavation is the process of removing earth, rock and other materials from a building site using machinery and tools. Excavation companies such as W.F. Botkin Construction Ltd., in Regina, offer more than just ground-breaking services. The excavation process can be multifaceted. It may involve earthwork, digging trenches and tunneling. Excavators work on more than just building sites. They work in mines and do exploration and environmental work as well as offer services in erosion control, culvert installation or replacement, and demolition.

Before excavation begins and during the excavation process, certain measures are taken to ensure safe digging practices. 


1. Surveying
The land is always surveyed before work can begin. Surveying is done to mark the borders and to stake out the reference points so that the crew working on the land know exactly where they will be digging and building.


2. Excavating drainage/water line trenches
Prior to the actual ground breaking, an excavator will dig a pump line to drain groundwater at the site. This procedure is necessary as it prevents the site from flooding with groundwater. The pump line allows the water to flow away from the site preventing workflow interruptions.

3. Soil Testing
The soil needs to be tested by a civil technology professional before and during construction. The soil is tested to determine its stability and to see if it requires decontamination. The soil type is determined so that the excavators can determine the stability of the walls and what additional safety measures, if any, need to be taken.


4. Determining if shoring is necessary
Some sites, depending on the excavation, can require shoring. Shoring is the installation of supports to secure the trench walls. If not properly supported, the walls of the trench can collapse or cave-in.

5. Atmospheric hazard testing
If the excavator needs to dig deeper than four feet, then the air also needs to be tested for the presence of hazardous gases. If there are any gases present or a low concentration of oxygen, workers in the trenches risk fainting.

6. Daily inspections
Inspect trenches at the beginning of every shift for potential structural changes that may have developed.

7. Natural intrusions
Carefully inspect trenches after heavy rainfall, storms, or other events that may affect the stability of the trench.

8. Keep heavy equipment and soil away from trench edges
Excavation equipment and excavated soil need to be kept away from the trench walls to prevent the walls from collapsing due to unnecessary excess weight.

9. Follow safety precautions

Anyone working on an excavation site should wear proper safety gear and highly visible clothing. Workers should always be aware of their surroundings and never pass under a suspended load. An emergency action plan should always be in place in case of an incident in the trench.  

10. Hire professionals
Excavators are professionals trained at following the proper safety requirements that are required to ensure the job is done right. They wear proper safety gear and are skilled at operating machinery.

Excavation is not an undertaking that should be taken lightly and should always be left to professionals. In Regina, at W.F. Botkin Construction Ltd., we are your excavation experts. Our skilled staff is ready to carry out all your excavation needs safely and professionally.

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