Checklist
Earthworks - excavations

Problem : Subsidence of the walls (escarpments) of the excavation


Questions / observations
Activities improving the state of OSH

Incorrect (excessive) gradient of the escarpment for a given type of land. Ensure a safe gradient of the escarpment that is appropriate to the given type of land.

Lack of reinforcement of the escarpment if this is required by the plans. Reinforce the escarpments, e.g. by means of: turfing, paving, construction of resistance walls - according to the plans.

Lack of lining of vertical walls or the use of the improper lining, e.g. open work, instead of full lining. Ensure that lining is used that is appropriate to the type of land and geological conditions, in accordance with the technical documentation.

The use of inappropriate materials to reinforce (board up) the walls. Select the correct materials to reinforce the walls: pile planks, struts and overlaps.

Incorrect demolition of elements of reinforcement of the walls of the excavation. Remove elements of reinforcement systematically to the base of the excavation and with the systematic filling of the excavation.

Loading the land in the vicinity of the edges of the excavation with equipment, excavated materials and construction materials.   Store materials at a safe distance from the edge of the excavation: beyond the soil wedge - in the case of non-reinforced walls, and no less than 1 m - if the walls are reinforced.

Washing of the escarpment walls by rainwater or surface waters. Inspect the escarpments after rain, frost and long breaks in work; remove the land movements while maintaining a safe slope of the escarpment.

Inspection that inclines have been produced in the land in terms of the possibility of draining rainwater in a direction away from the excavation. Produce gradients of the land for draining rainwater in the strip of land adjacent to the edge of the escarpment - at a width of three times the depth of the excavation.



Problem : A worker or other person falling into the excavation


Questions / observations
Activities improving the state of OSH

Lack of fencing and marking of the excavation, lack of lighting of the site. Fence off the site, mark places of danger, fix protective barriers alongside the excavation, and illuminate the site.

Lack of appropriate entrances into the excavation, as well as correct paths and approaches to the work places. Make correct paths and approaches to the work posts, place footbridges on the crossings of the excavation with protective handrails on both sides; make entrances into the excavation in the form of ladders or stairs - at intervals of no more than 20 m.



Problem : Falling lumps of soil, materials or equipment onto those working in the excavation


Questions / observations
Activities improving the state of OSH

Incorrect reinforcement of the walls, lack of edge boards at the edge of the excavation. Incorrect reinforcement of the walls, lack of edge boards at the edge of the excavation. Install pile planks alongside the walls that extend at least 0.15 m above ground level - create an edge barrier.

Excessive depth of the excavation compared with the direct ejection of the excavated materials, lack of intermediate position to eject the excavated materials upwards. Provide intermediary ejection landings, at intervals of 1.5 m in height.

Filling of containers with the excavated materials to their upper edge. Fill containers with excavated materials to a maximum of 2/3 of their wall height.



Problem : Threats arising from damage to underground mains utility supplies


Questions / observations
Activities improving the state of OSH

Use of mechanical equipment to dig excavations without becoming familiar with the underground mains utility supply networks, e.g. water mains, gas pipelines, electricity cables. Notify the investor (or owner) of the network - obtain the mains supply network documentation, become familiar with the underground mains supply networks, possibly commence manual excavation.

 

 

 
See also:

 

Module of the STER System supporting selection of personal protective equipment

zobacz