Basic Safety Precaution for Excavations

Most excavation accidents occur in trenches which have no support at all because they are in what is considered to be so-called “safe ground”, or because work has gone beyond the support provided.

• Excavations must be subject to risk assessments.

• Risk assessments will identify the method of support or sloping / battering.

• Always check that you have ladder access, and it is positioned in the supported area.

• Never throw tools or materials down to someone in an excavation, use a rope to lower them down.

• Always wear a safety helmet – even small stones falling from the top can injure you.

• Drivers of mobile plant must take special care when operating close to the edge of excavations.

• Excavations must have barriers around the top as identified in the risk assessment.

• Materials and equipment must not be stacked close to the edge of excavations.