Discover what site clearing is, why it’s important, when you need to perform it, and the equipment you need to effectively clear a site.
Published 7 Nov 2022
Site clearing is the first step in any construction project that involves removing any elements on the land that may get in the way of the construction process. This includes shrubs, vegetation, rocks, and other debris. The goal of site clearing is to create a construction site conducive to the project, allowing the construction team to start working on building the actual structure.
There are many things to consider when clearing a site. To start, it’s important to clear out anything that can get in the way of the construction project to allow for a safe and secure structure. However, it’s also essential for teams to consider the environmental impact of their site clearing operations and take steps to reduce it.
Most construction sites and properties are not ready for a structure to be built on the land. This is because most properties contain a lot of debris and vegetation that will prevent the team from building a solid foundation and a safe structure.
Site clearing can be seen as the construction equivalent of priming a surface before painting for a better overall output. Without site clearing, teams will be working on uneven land with debris that can get in the way of establishing solid foundations and meeting the ultimate goal of the project.
On top of that, most localities require teams to effectively clear a site before commencing with the project. So, not only is it essential in improving the overall safety and stability of the project, most construction projects won’t be allowed to start unless the site has been properly cleared.
Site clearing is necessary for all construction projects, as it is the first step in this process. Even if a property has minimal debris, the team must clear the site before starting construction. Without clearing the site, it will be much harder to build solid and stable structures. On top of that, an uncleared area poses many hazards to workers that can lead to unforeseen accidents and incidents on-site.
Before teams start breaking ground and establishing the foundations of a project, it’s important for them to clear the site first. So, before your team starts breaking ground and implementing the construction project, it’s important to ensure that the site has been properly cleared and is free from debris.
Site clearing is a very comprehensive process with many steps, each of which with its own requirements. On top of that, site clearing may look different depending on the type of project going on and the state of the property before clearing. However, these are the steps that most teams take when performing site clearing:
While site clearing is the first step in site preparation, the process doesn’t end there. Once teams are done clearing a site, they may proceed with other preparation measures like surveying, soil testing, and other processes before they start on the actual construction project.
The type of equipment you will need to clear your site varies depending on the debris you need to clear, the size of the property, and other factors. It’s important to select equipment that will easily remove the debris, vegetation, and other things on the property you’re working on.
So, here are some of the most widely used pieces of equipment for site clearing and how they are used:
Equipment for Site Clearing Operations
While these aren’t the only pieces of equipment you’ll need for site clearing, they are some of the most widely used or important. So, your site clearing processes may require all of these tools, just one of them, or specific tools not mentioned in the list above.
This depends on your exact location, as various localities have their own regulations. This is why it’s important to research local rules and regulations before starting site clearing activities to ensure compliance.
This largely depends on the types of land clearing operations as well as the overall size of the site. That said, it typically takes professionals between two to two and a half hours to clear one acre of land, which is a great benchmark to use when creating a timeline for the construction project.
Demolition refers to removing old structures that are on the land before the construction project. So, it’s a part of many site clearing operations, but it isn’t required for all site clearing processes. On top of that, site clearing may also involve removing debris caused by the demolition process.
Like any construction project, site clearing comes with hazards that teams should make an effort to manage or reduce. Some of these workplace hazards include exposure to toxic fumes from the land clearing process, developing back issues due to vibrating equipment, and exposure to other irritants.
Site clearing is a very comprehensive process that comes with many risks. This is why it’s important for teams to use different tools to ensure site safety and efficiency during site clearing operations. One very useful software for site clearing operations is SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor).
This software contains many features that you can use to improve and keep your workers safe during site clearing operations. These features include:
Leon Altomonte is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. He got into content writing while taking up a language degree and has written copy for various web pages and blogs. Aside from working as a freelance writer, Leon is also a musician who spends most of his free time playing gigs and at the studio.
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