Excavating is a very dangerous process, which is why, when most people need extensive excavation done, they call in a professional for assistance. When you excavate, there are many risks you face. The environment as you dig down may not be safe. There is always a risk of the dirt caving in. Plus, the machinery used presents a risk as well. There are many safety measures that should be in place for an excavation job.
Safety Tip #1: Be Knowledgeable About Utility Locations
First, you need to always be aware of where the utilities are. Before you start digging, call your utility company and have them come out and mark where the utility lines are. You need to know where these lines are so that you don't dig through them. Hitting a utility line could endanger your life as well as the lives of others, so always know where the utilities are before you start digging.
Safety Tip #2: Test the Atmosphere
When you start digging deep, like you will with an excavation project, it is important to be able to monitor the quality of the air. You can purchase a digital air quality meter to measure oxygen and watch out for the presence of harmful gases.
Watch the oxygen levels as you work and make sure they are not getting low. Low oxygen levels will cause headaches, shortness of breath, and even confusion. Low oxygen levels can also have more serious consequences.
Toxic gases can also cause physical complications and even cause you to lose consciousness. As you go deeper, keep your digital air quality meter on your person, and frequently check the readings. Get out if the air quality drops below safe levels, which your meter should alert you to.
Safety Tip #3: Avoid Digging in Bad Weather Conditions
It is important to watch the weather before you start to dig. Check the weather forecast. If it is slated to rain that afternoon, don't plan on digging. Rain can really change your digging environment. It will make the dirt softer and often heavier at the same time. Rain can help increase the chances of dirt collapsing or sliding back into the hole. Water can pool up and create a dangerous and muddy situation at the base of whatever you are excavating.
If rain or a storm is forecast, don't plan on digging.
When excavating, always know where the utility lines are. Avoid digging when the weather is rainy or stormy. As you excavate, be sure to keep an air quality meter with you to keep things safe. If you need assistance with an excavating job, call in a professional.