The following are some points to consider in a trenching and excavation checklist. Each circumstance will be different, so be sure to adapt the questions to suit your situation.
- Know the contact numbers?
- Located, identified and informed respective parties?
- Grounded, isolated, de-energized, or protected from unplanned release?
- Excavated material, pipes etc. are placed 1 metre away from the edge of the excavation or trench wall?
- Are pumps available to remove water?
- Is the base and foot of the ladder secure, and free of garbage or water?
- Are materials placed on the site obstructing the worker’s or vehicle’s ability to move freely?
- Are established traffic controls used, where required, including adequate signage, personnel, and lighting?
- Has the excavation been marked to make the workers and others aware of the excavation (e.g., fence, flags, or other safeguards)?
- Are sanitary facilities available at the site, as appropriate?
- Are proper barriers or guardrails in place to protect anyone or equipment falling into the excavation or trench?
- Has the air in the excavation been tested for low oxygen, and hazardous gasses and vapours?
- Is a safe means of entry/exit provided such as a sufficiently long and secured ladder placed at appropriate distances (within 25 feet of all workers)?
- Are cracks visible in the ground around the trench or excavation that may indicate soil movement?
- Are there any signs of water seeping into the trench or excavation?
- Are workers wearing appropriate PPE (e.g., hard hats, respirators, , safety boots, hearing protection)?
- Are high visibility vests or clothing provided and worn by all exposed to vehicular traffic?
- Are first aid boxes available at the site?
- Are operators qualified to operate the heavy machinery/equipment?
- Does a competent person regularly inspect the excavation (at the start of each shift before work begins or after any event likely to have affected the strength or stability of the excavation)?
- Has the soil type been considered when determining the angle of the slope?
- Are they being sloped or benched back to a safe angle?
Temporary protective equipment, such as:
- Is the shoring equipment the right equipment as required for the depth of the trench/excavation and type of soil?
- Is the equipment damaged (e.g., cracked, crushed, split, or bowed)?
- Are there loose or missing cleats?
- Are the struts off level?
- Are the boxes damaged or have defects?
- Are the plates deformed, bent, have holes, or show other damage?
- Are the welds cracked, bent, or distorted?
- Are there missing or missing struts?
- Are trench boxes shifting or settling to one side?
- Are there any visible leaks in hoses or cylinders?
- Are there bent bases?
- Is any equipment cracked, split, broken or cracked?
At Ron Meyer & Associate Excavating, Inc, we’ve been providing underground and commercial construction to private and commercial businesses for 39 years. As the general contractor or subcontractor, our experienced foremen, equipment operators, pipe layers, truck drivers and well-maintained equipment fleet make us an undeniable choice for your excavating services. Let’s talk about your project!
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