Tips to Protect Workers that are Working In or Near Excavations
- Undertake a thorough risk assessment to determine how anyone could be hurt when working with excavations. Consider how and when a collapse could occur, or how someone could fall in, for example. Think about the underground cables (such as electricity) that could be in the area.
- Support the sides of the excavation properly, and install barriers and covers when work finishes for the day or halts so that no one can fall in. Ensure good levels of lighting around the excavation, especially at night and in the winter months.
- Develop and implement a safe system of work for workers to follow, which includes ensuring the excavation is properly boarded, and that it is dug to the correct depth. Ensure workers know the location of any underground cables before starting work.
- Train workers on the dangers of working in or near excavations.
- Supervise all work activities and ensure that you have a means of providing an emergency evacuation if someone should become injured in an excavation.
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