Excavation Safety Checklist

Posted on 28 May 21


An excavation safety checklist is a tool used to perform daily worksite and equipment inspections before starting excavation and trenching work. It starts with recording the excavation purpose, dimensions, soil type, protective systems, and equipment being used. The next step is evaluating the job site to ensure utilities, barriers, walkways, and warning systems are in place. After that, the excavation safety checklist is responsible for checking whether the entry and exit paths are safe and secured. Afterwards, it proceeds with assessing the atmosphere underground and the installation of the support systems.

Excavation Safety Checklist

The Importance of Excavation Safety Checklists

Evaluating the job site to ensure utilities, barriers, walkways and warning systems are in place.

Checking if the entry and exit paths are safe and secured.

Excavation checklists are used to perform safety inspections and risk assessments for excavation and trenching projects. Excavation checklists are a vital tool used during pre-operations to evaluate the jobsite, utilities and equipment, access means, area atmosphere, and support systems to solve existing and predictable hazards. They also implement prompt corrective measures to eliminate or control these dangerous conditions.

A Useful Guide on an Excavation Safety Checklist

Excavation is recognized as one of the most dangerous construction operations especially during shoring excavation practices. In some situations, hazard potential increases especially after rainstorms, change in the spoil pile, and any indication of movement in adjacent structures. The following measures should be taken for safety.

Excavation Preparation

The site safety supervisor should have a clear understanding of soil mechanics, determination of soil type, test equipment for evaluating soil types, and support systems design.

Risk identification

To effectively predict and decrease risks at an excavation site, the inspector should be able to detect hazards. The most common excavation accidents include:

  • falls, falling loads, crushing, and entrapment;
  • construction vehicles or mobile equipment;
  • underground services or utility lines;
  • exposure to hazardous contaminants and toxic atmospheres.

Excavation risk assessors should also be able to identify potential system failure conditions. Precautions to be taken:

  • Keep heavy equipment away from trench edges.
  • Know where underground utilities are located.
  • Test for low oxygen, hazardous fumes. and toxic gases.
  • Inspect trenches at the start of each shift.
  • Wearing proper PPE is a must.
  • Do not work under raised loads.

During Wet conditions:

Precautions should be taken to protect oneself from the accumulation of water. Adequate precautions should be taken to protect from exposure to an atmosphere containing less than 19.5% oxygen and/or to other hazardous atmospheres.

Emergency equipment, such as breathing apparatus, safety harness and lifeline, and/or basket stretcher should be readily available, where hazardous atmospheres could or do exist.

Plant and Equipment is a trusted online marketplace for buying reliable used heavy excavators. It takes into consideration the presence of excavation safety signs and offers an extensive range of mini excavators with maximum safety.

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