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Safety Topic - Trenching and Excavation Safety
11/10/2016 4:50:16 PM

Mason Construction, Ltd. focuses on industrial construction in the Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana areas. Safety is a priority on every job and in our daily lives. Even if you do not personally work in construction, tasks you undertake around the house should be done with safety in mind. From small projects to larger home and property improvement opportunities, some of the safety tips we discuss in our blog posts could be beneficial to you.

This week we look at trenching and excavation safety. At first you may wonder what that could possibility have to do with a residential project, digging a trench no matter how large or small has certain safety concerns to be aware of. If it is a large trench on a construction site there are many concerns about who is operating machinery and who is around the area. A small trench around your home (and on the job site) have to be aware of utility lines.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published some useful safety tips for working around trenches and excavation projects.

Tips for employers:

  • Find a competent person to train and ensure safety measures are in place on the job.
  • Call before digging to be sure utility lines are marked.
  • Evaluate the soil to determine stability. Soil conditions can vary day to day so it is important to re-evaluate as needed.
  • Plan the job layout for safe locations around the equipment and job site.
  • Confirm what kinds of protective and safety systems are needed for the job and be sure to allow time for those systems to be in place before workers go on-site.
  • Minors (anyone 18 years or younger) should not be allowed in the trench.
  • Regardless of age, assign workers who are trained and understand the job site.
  • Discuss an emergency action plan before starting the job so everyone knows what to do in the event of a trench incident.
  • Communicate with workers safety cautions such as not entering an unprotected trench and to immediately exit a trench if they find any problems.

Tips for workers:

  • Do not enter an unprotected trench, even if it is for a short task.
  • Always inspect the trench before entering.
  • If you see any problems with the protective system in place, exit the trench immediately.
  • Cave ins and other safety concerns do not always come with warning signs, so be ready to act and do not hesitate.

Check out this great video talking about the importance of being safe:


Make it a safe day!

Sources:

http://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/14830-trenching-and-excavation-safety http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2011-180/

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