Five Safety Mistakes That Need To Be Avoided During Rock Excavation

Construction & Contractors Blog

Rock excavation can be one of the most dangerous construction jobs, but it is necessary to prepare sites for supporting building structures. 

Fortunately, you can make rock excavation safe at your site by taking the necessary precautions and avoiding mistakes that compromise safety. The following are five safety mistakes that need to be avoided during rock excavation:

1. Failing to locate all utility lines before excavation work begins

One of the most important first steps to planning for rock excavation or any other type of excavation is locating the utility lines. It's important to avoid causing damage to utility lines during excavation.

Utility line damage can be costly and also create severe safety hazards. Not only should utility lines be located before excavation, but utility companies running lines in the area should be notified of upcoming excavation work.

2. Not factoring environmental conditions into the excavation plan

Rock excavation should be carried out according to the characteristics of the atmosphere and environment.

Employees need to be kept safe during excavation by ensuring that they'll have a proper oxygen supply and that they'll have respiratory protection if they may be dealing with contaminant buildup in the air. 

Air quality should be tested when deep excavations are performed to avoid injury due to respiratory hazards. 

3. Not using the right protective system

A protective system should be set up to secure the site of any type of rock excavation. Different types of protective systems from among which you can choose include sloping, shielding, and shoring. 

The particular protective system that's best for an excavation site depends on characteristics such as soil qualities, depth, moisture content, surcharge loads, and climate. It's important to carefully evaluate these factors before deciding on a protective system. 

4. Failing to inspect sheeting, bracing, and shoring equipment adequately beforehand

Merely having a protective system set up is not enough. The protective system needs to be thoroughly inspected to make sure that all its components are in good condition. Any sheeting, bracing, or shoring materials must be free of defects.

5. Failing to inspect trenches for stability after heavy precipitation has fallen

Precipitation will naturally cause weaknesses in the ground as water flows into it. Rainfall during rock excavation can weaken the ground and make the collapse of trenches more likely.

It's important that trenches are thoroughly inspected after rainfall. If any weaknesses are discovered, the protective system of the excavation site needs to be fortified to offer added protection. 

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