5 Reasons Safety Guidelines Matter in Excavation


When you are excavating at a job site, you need to know that you and your people will be safe at all times. To accomplish this goal, it is important to have clear safety guidelines that are adhered to whenever an excavation is occurring. In addition to having such guidelines, your company should have penalties for failure to follow them. Why do these guidelines matter?

Some Workers May Have Little Experience

A worker who doesn’t have a lot of experience doing an excavation may not know what to wear, how to act around machinery or how to spot safety hazards. Coming up with a set of rules to follow ahead of time makes it less likely that a newer worker will put him or herself in a situation where he or she could suffer an injury.

Safe Workers are Productive Workers

When given proper safety equipment and clear rules to follow, a worker can focus on his or her job instead of potential safety hazards. This will translate to a more productive crew that can finish the job in a timely manner without getting hurt. Remember, an injured worker leads to delays, which could offset any time you think is saved by skimping on worker safety protocols.

The Government Is Watching You

An injured worker could take legal action against you if you are a contractor and fail to adhere to OSHA safety regulations on a job site. In addition to the workers compensation costs and the cost associated with hiring a new worker on a temporary basis, you could be fined or forced to stop working until violations are corrected.

You Never Know When Conditions Can Change

Even if you properly scout a job site and think you know about all the possible hazards going into an excavation, conditions can change at any time. Heavy rain, hitting a gas line or any other unexpected event could turn a relatively safe job site into a disaster area. Having a safety plan ahead of time allows you to make decisions proactively before anyone gets hurt or killed.

You Can’t See Everything Going On Around You

There may be scenarios when people must go underground or into secluded areas that you don’t have access to. Therefore, your employee may have nothing more than a radio to communicate with you. Although a radio may be enough to alert you of any situation that arises, there is still a delay between the call for help and your ability to do anything about it. With safety measures in place ahead of time, both you and your workers know what to do when they are separated from others.

No matter what you are doing, safety should be a top priority. Any time or money that you think you are saving by not having a safety plan or safety equipment will be more than offset by a single injury. Therefore, put a plan in place, have your people practice that plan and hope that you never have to use it.