Safe excavation techniques are quickly becoming an essential process on construction and new build sites and so, the PIER (UK) team have taken a closer look at the process.
Safe Excavation – Safety First
Before breaking the ground, construction contractors need to consider exactly what is underneath the surface and what potential hazards the team may run into.
Often, plans for the sites can help to identify underground cables and buried asset that need to be carefully considered before commencing the work. For older sites, the plans may have been extensively developed over the years and so, these plans may provide full visibility of all buried hazards. This is why contractors should consider a full audit before starting on excavations.
Safe Excavation – Every Time
The Health and Safety Executive provides guidance for managing risk around the excavation of underground cables. Their popular HSG47 Guidance recommends 3 steps for safe excavation:
- Safe Excavation
Plans must be thorough before commencing with the work. Any drawings on the site plans and intelligence gathered on-site to assess the potential risks and identifying any safety concern when excavating will benefit the entire team.
Using a Ground Penetrating Radar Survey to identify all underground cables and ensure that these are clearly marked on the ground prior to commencing the work. For those areas in which underground hazards have been identified to undertake safe excavation methods, such as Vacuum Excavation, a no-dig alternative will reduce the risk of injury or asset damage.
For complex sites, it is always good to seek advice from safe excavation experts on the best approach in order to minimise any risk to those on-site. Often, no-dig trenchless techniques can save time, reduce risk and ensure that construction projects are delivered on time and without any major disruption.