An excavation is a depression which is being created purposefully where earth, materials and rocks are being displaced using either tools or explosives. The same could be done for many purposes including earthwork, trench creation, wall shafts, tunneling or underground works.
Exposure to hazards
Excavation is undoubtedly one the most high risk jobs. There are a number of factors that might be identified in this context. The primary factor would surely be the depth of the excavation and needless to mention, high-risk obligations do apply to excavations whenever the depth is more than 1.5 meters.
The nature of the strata too should be considered carefully as it may indicate the potential and possibility for the sides to collapse down.
Other than that, a number of other factors may include exposure time, adjacent excavations or buildings, chemical gases, exposure to wet weather and a lot more.
Duties and responsibilities of the employers:
The employers aren’t just ethically duty bound, but under Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1991, the employers are supposed to provide as much as possible a safe working environment which does not pose out as a health hazard. Excavation being one of the most risk prone activities, the employers must be doubly cautious and take utmost care to ensure maximum safety and security.
In order to do this, the employers should first try to identify the factors which can actually have a direct or could be indirect influence to an excavation activity. They should refer to Relevant Commonwealth Regulations, Relevant Commonwealth Codes of Practice & Relevant Guidance Material.
The Relevant Commonwealth Regulations provides a list of mandatory requirements for all the employers and also the employees and other duty holders who are associated with a construction project. On a side note, excavation exceeding 1.5 meters in depth and tunnel construction are always regarded as high risk jobs and in these cases one must always refer to these compliance policies.
The above guidance makes the work easier for the employer and makes the site and the workplace a healthier and safer place to work. So in case if your businesses directly relate to excavation, do not forget to refer to the above mentioned guidebooks for better safety and comfort.