The Do’s and Don’ts of Excavating

The do’s and don’ts of excavating

Excavation involves the removal of soil or rock from a site to form an open-faced hole or cavity in the earth’s surface using tools and machines. There are many different types of excavation jobs, including pit excavation, trench work, surface excavations, caving, and wells and drives.

One of the most common types of machinery used to perform this type of work is called an excavator. Sometimes, excavation work also involves grading; occasionally, it may be used to divert water.

Excavation work is typically necessary to some degree in the construction of basements, as well as in the building of roads, highways, and freeways when paths need to be cleared.

Excavation is also required when underground pipes and subway tunnels need to be dug. Sometimes, a significant amount of dirt, rocks, or topsoil simply needs to be moved from one location to another, so excavating work may be needed in such situations as well.

Why Safety Is Important in Excavation Work

Unfortunately, excavation is one of the most dangerous types of work conducted on construction sites and in public spaces. There are several serious risks and hazards related to excavation work due to the dangerous conditions it often creates through heavy machinery, the movement of vehicles around excavation areas, unprotected edges, loose materials or soil, hidden utilities, and flooding.

Perhaps one of the most significant risks that exist on most excavation sites is the possibility of a cave-in or collapse. Such scenarios can result in severe injuries for many individuals or even mass deaths.

For all of these reasons, it is incredibly important that very strict safety measures are taken whenever an excavation occurs. Fortunately, when proper safety measures are followed, the chance of accidents occurring decreases significantly.

The Do’s of Excavating

If you want to ensure that your excavation work is always done safely, you should always do the following:

DO: Consult With a Civil Engineer

Civil engineers specialize in planning, designing, and constructing various types of infrastructure. If you have an excavation project coming up, consult a civil engineer, as they will be able to help ensure that it is completed safely and efficiently.

DO: Obtain All the Necessary Permits

Every town and city has its own rules and restrictions when it comes to construction projects involving excavation. Before you begin planning the specifics of your excavation, you should learn all of the necessary permits the city requires you to have by law and start your application for these permits as early as possible.

DO: Invest in Protective Systems for Excavation Sites

When excavating at a site where the environment is made of anything other than stable rock, it is necessary to have protective systems trenches over 1.5 meters deep. If you are excavating a trench that is at least 6.1 meters deep, these protective systems must be designed by a registered professional engineer

DO: Have Your Excavation Site Inspected by a Professional Daily

When your excavation site is regularly inspected by a professional who is competent enough to spot potential hazards and risks, they can point these out and help prevent accidents. These kinds of inspections are particularly necessary after rainstorms.

DO: Investigate Nearby Utilities

Before you start excavating, it is always crucial to learn the locations of all the underground gas, electric, water, sewer, and communication pipes and cables near the site.

Not only will digging into and rupturing these kinds of lines have the potential to create a massive mess and delay your project, but it can also pose numerous safety hazards.

The Don’ts of Excavating

In addition to all of the things you should do when you are planning and executing excavation work, there are also many things that are important never to do, including the following:

Don’t: Enter an Unprotected Trench

One of the main things that you should definitely never do while excavating is entering an unprotected trench, as they are more prone to cave-ins, which can happen in a matter of seconds. These kinds of cave-ins lead to hundreds of serious injuries and fatalities annually.

Don’t: Leave Heavy Equipment Near the Excavation Site Edges

Although the protective systems used in excavation sites, including sloping, shoring, and shielding, are designed to support the weight of the soil or rocks in the environment, they are not suitable for supporting the weight of heavy equipment. Therefore, to avoid collapses, always place your heavy equipment far from the edge.

Don’t: Place Surcharge Within 2 Feet of the Excavation Edges

The excess soil and other materials removed from the ground during an excavation is known as surcharge. This is yet another way to increase the chances of a cave-in. In fact, those materials will only add to the collapse and make things worse.

Don’t: Assume Utilities Will All Be at the Same Depth

Even after checking to see the location of utilities in the area near your excavation site and having these spaces marked, it is important to never assume that all of the utilities will be placed at the same depth throughout the entire excavation site. Their depth often depends on when the various parts of the utility were installed or how the terrain has shifted over time.

Why Great West Equipment Is a Great Place to Buy Your Next Excavator

Another way to ensure that your excavation goes off without a hitch is to ensure that you are using reliable equipment throughout the project’s entirety. If you are in search of excavators for sale in BC, Great West Equipment has a wide selection of both new and used options to choose from that are manufactured by some of the top heavy equipment manufacturers in the world.

We guarantee that we have exactly the excavator you need, no matter what type or scale of excavation projects you require it for. We also have an experienced team of equipment specialists that will help answer any questions you may have regarding our wide stock of excavators, and we have an incredibly helpful sales team that can arrange financing options if necessary.

We can even arrange a free equipment consultation session so that you can fully experience all the incredible features that our excavators have to offer. Our top priority is ensuring that all our customers leave satisfied, and we will do whatever it takes to make that possible.

For more information about the excavators we have for sale, or to learn more about the wide array of other heavy equipment that we have in stock, call Great West Equipment at 1-833-730-0613 or contact us here.

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  • Posted on 26-09-2023 by Lily Bridgers

    I’m grateful for your explanation about excavation, which typically entails using equipment and machinery to remove soil or rock, commonly for projects like building basements, roads, highways, and subway tunnels. As I’m planning to open a resort next year, I recognize the importance of excavating the site to prepare it for construction. I’ll consider this information as I start searching for an excavating company to assist with this project in the near future.

  • Posted on 02-09-2023 by Elle Jones

    It’s fantastic that you went into detail about how having a professional evaluate your excavation site regularly may assist in identifying possible dangers and hazards so that accidents can be avoided. After rainstorms, these sorts of checks are very important. Since the land still needs to be prepared for development, I need to get the site dug to start building my resort later next year. When I start looking for an excavation business to employ to assist with this project shortly, I’ll keep this in mind.

  • Posted on 02-08-2023 by Clare Martin

    I appreciate you informing us that excavation involves removing the soil or rock from a site using tools and machines, so they are usually done for the construction of basements, roads, highways, and subway tunnels. I am opening a resort later next year, so I need to get the site excavated first before we can proceed with the construction since the site still needs preparation. I’ll keep this in mind while I look for an excavating company to hire for help with this project soon.