If you work on a construction site, there will most likely come a time when excavation and building trenches is necessary. In both cases, you are moving large amounts of earth in order to make room for laying pipe and preparing the foundation you will build. Unfortunately, this type of work can be very dangerous. Here are some tips to build trenches and excavate dirt safely and effectively.
Know the Hazards
Start by knowing what hazards you could face, and make sure all other workers on the construction site are also aware of these hazards. The main source of danger when excavating or digging trenches is the fact that dirt can be falling on all sides of you. This is why many people build temporary platforms and structures to stand on. You may also be dealing with other loose materials falling, including rock and stone. There could also be other nearby structures that put you at risk during excavation, which might need additional support before you begin.
Create Temporary Support
Before you start working on excavation, take a moment to create some type of temporary support. There are a few different options for support to prevent you from falling into the excavation site, such as shores, hydraulic jacks, post and beams, and planks. The type you choose will depend on the type of trench or excavation, and what type of soil you are working with. Consider all dangers when you are constructing the support structure, including soil, other structures in the area, vibrations during the excavation, water, and rocks. You may need to move the temporary support multiple times while excavating to give you access to the site without putting yourself at risk.
Consider Directional Drilling
When it comes to excavation, you have a few different options. You can use traditional methods and equipment, or you can upgrade your method with directional drilling. This does require more advanced equipment, but it can get the job done safely and more quickly. With directional drilling, you can drill holes into the soil without having to dig an entire trench. You are able to remain on the surface of the dirt without worrying about extra support as well.
Enter and Exit the Excavation Site Cautiously
Any time you are working with excavation on construction sites, you need to be extra careful. Walk cautiously and don't enter an excavation or trench more than a few feet deep, as you won't be able to climb out without assistance. Use a variety of planks, temporary support, ramps, and ladders to help you get in and out of the excavation site.