Excavation and Trench Safety

Excavation and trenching are amongst the most dangerous operations in the construction industry. Dangers can include cave-ins, falling loads, hazardous atmospheres and hazards from using heavy equipment. Regular pre-work inspections can reduce hazards and serious risk of injury. Safety inspections should check for the type of excavation being conducted, support and warning systems in place, access areas, weather conditions, heavy equipment and PPE.

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10 Excavation Safety Tips

To protect workers from injuries and fatalities, preventive measures should be implemented when workers begin excavating. According to OSHA, general safety measures to follow should cover the following:

  1. Inspect trenches daily before work begins. Don’t go near an unprotected trench.
  2. Check weather conditions before work, be mindful of rain and storms.
  3. Keep heavy equipment away from trench edges.
  4. Be mindful of the location of utilities underground.
  5. Always wear proper protective equipment.
  6. Don’t work beneath raised loads.
  7. Conduct atmosphere tests. If low oxygen and toxic gases were detected, workers must not enter the trench.
  8. Protective systems like benching, sloping, shoring and shielding must be created.
  9. Planning and implementation of safety measures must be done by a competent person.
  10. Use a checklist to perform regular self inspections - download free excavation safety checklists here.
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Free Excavation Safety Checklists

Daily excavation safety inspections should be conducted during project works. Replace your paper based inspections with these free digital excavation templates you can use with iAuditor, the world’s #1 inspection app. Take photos of excavation hazards, schedule inspections for your officials in the field, and generate PDF reports in real time on your smartphone. Browse more excavation safety checklists here

  1. Excavation Safety Checklist
  2. OSHA Excavation and Trenching Worksite Analysis
  3. Excavator Equipment Checklist
  4. Excavation Risk Assessment Template

Follow these 5 steps to start performing mobile inspections

  1. Create a free iAuditor account to get started
  2. Download a template above and modify it for your workplace or browse other checklist topics
  3. Install the iAuditor app on your mobile or tablet and perform an inspection
  4. Take photos, create actions and generate reports on your device
  5. Invite your teammates. Save time, save lives
Click here to get started