Level Ground Excavation involves the process of uncovering or removing soil and rock from a site for construction purposes. It can be a hazardous job, but it also helps us learn about our past and build the future.
Shoring should be chosen to suit the ground conditions and soil loads that will be encountered in the excavation. This could include H-pile shoring with lagging where possible or soldier sets for rock and stiff clays.
The method of excavation used during construction will depend on the type of building or structure being constructed. Some types of construction work that require excavation include trenching, foundation work, and laying pipes or utilities. The excavation must be carefully planned and carried out to minimize the risks of collapse, soil movement, or other complications.
Excavating may be necessary for constructing a basement or creating a drainage system. It is also required when installing a maintenance hole, pump station, or underground tank. Some excavations are undertaken for archeological purposes to recover flakes and chips of worked stone or to establish the location of archaeological remains. These excavations are usually open excavations, and a grid of squares is based on the site, which can then be mapped out to serve as points of reference. The findings are recorded in the field, and a full report is prepared.
The excavation must be designed and implemented by someone with appropriate engineering expertise. This will usually be a Chartered Professional Engineer with relevant experience in designing temporary works or formal Engineering qualifications (e.g., Civil, Structural, or Geotechnical). The designer must consider the site conditions (including ground conditions and water pressure), the depth of excavation, the availability of plant and equipment, and the availability of support structures such as shoring.
Depending on the conditions, there is a risk of damage to nearby structures such as buildings, pavements, or other excavations. There is also a risk of injury or death to people in the immediate vicinity when an excavation collapses. This includes suffocation and crush injuries.
A risk assessment must be undertaken to assess the likelihood of encountering contaminated soils or groundwater before starting excavation work. If contaminated soils or groundwater are discovered during excavation, appropriate decontamination and health monitoring work must be conducted.
The excavation must be planned according to the requirements of any relevant legislation, including the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. Any worker or person conducting a business or undertaking must be properly trained to perform excavation work.
If you are considering starting a business as an excavation contractor, consider the tools that will help make your projects run smoothly. You will need a range of equipment, from small digging tools to large construction machinery. Consider the size of your target market and the type of excavation work you plan to do to determine whether or not you will need larger equipment such as a bulldozer, backhoe, or excavator.
Generally, an excavator is used to dig trenches, remove soil, place pipework and other underground utilities, and perform backfill duties. It is one of the most important pieces of equipment on a construction site and can be one of the most expensive machines to buy and maintain. Fortunately, there are many options for purchasing used equipment that can save you both money and time.
A backhoe is a smaller piece of equipment that can be used to dig holes and trenches, as well as load and carry debris. It can also be equipped with a blade that can be used to break up concrete and other materials. Backhoes can be expensive to purchase and repair, but several financing options may reduce your upfront costs.
There are several safety issues to keep in mind when using any form of plant during excavation works. The most common issue is the risk of workers being buried or struck by moving plants and equipment. To avoid this, the plant should be kept at a safe distance from the edge of an excavation (e.g., by barriers) and only used when necessary. It is also recommended that a standby person be present to communicate with the operator of any plant and to monitor and supervise the operation.
Excavation work requires a lot of planning, and the right controls are needed to keep workers safe. These controls must be in place to protect workers from the hazards and risks arising from the excavation work, such as:
Cave-ins (can trap or crush workers). Exposure to hazardous atmospheres (low oxygen, dust, bio-contaminants, or gases) can cause asphyxiation. Contact with buried services (electrical, water, gas, sewage, telecommunications, etc) that can be cut or damaged, leak or fail during the excavation process, and lead to injury or death of a worker.
The risk of these events occurring can be minimized by establishing a safe system of work and consulting, cooperating, or communicating with upstream PCBUs (e.g., utility companies) so far as is reasonably practicable. It is also necessary to plan the work carefully, including a site survey, design and construction of temporary works, and checking soil conditions.
Workers should be supplied with suitable personal protective equipment for excavating, such as hard hats and hearing protectors. In addition, mobile plant workers should wear a harness and restraint line when operating machinery on or near excavations and trenches.
Workers must also be well-trained to understand the potential hazards relating to excavation work and the safety measures to be taken. A qualified trainer must provide the training.
Finally, the workplace must be kept clean and tidy to prevent tripping and slipping hazards. It is also important that any rubbish and waste is removed from the excavation area regularly.
Depending on the ground conditions, the PCBU may need to consider using shoring to stabilize the excavation and limit its depth. Shoring should be inspected regularly to ensure it is still intact and in good condition.
If excavation is near existing structures such as houses, factories, or other commercial buildings, it is important to determine whether these are load-bearing. If they are, the structure must be reinforced to avoid collapse or damage during excavation. In addition, it may be necessary to install supporting infrastructure, such as a structural ramp for vehicles and equipment, or provide warning signs.
Before excavation starts, it is essential to prepare the site and ensure everybody involved is safe. This includes ensuring that the ground conditions are suitable and that all of the necessary shoring and propping materials have been brought to the site. It is also important to identify, mark, and protect existing underground services such as electricity, gas, water, and sewage pipes. This can be done using service plans, records, electronic detection equipment, and trial holes. A competent person should be on hand to oversee the process and ensure that all of these precautions are in place.
Skilled workers are an essential part of the excavation business, and it is vital to keep them happy, well-paid, and safe. A good working environment will motivate them to deliver quality work and increase productivity. The company should also have a clear set of safety rules and procedures to be followed by all employees. This will minimize the risk of accidents and ensure that all workers are aware of what to do in an emergency.
A detailed excavation plan is typically developed before construction starts. This will include the methods and techniques that will be used, the equipment and machinery that is required, and the sequence in which the work will be carried out. The plan will also typically include details about how to control dust, noise, and other potential environmental impacts.
Once the excavation plan has been developed, it is important to obtain the necessary permits and approvals from local authorities. This will typically include getting a permit to excavate the site and permission from landowners to access their property.
Before excavation begins, a geotechnical site investigation must be conducted to determine the soil and rock characteristics of the site. This is to ensure that the excavation can be safely carried out and that the final structure can support the loads that will be placed on it.
It is also important to prepare the site before excavation begins by clearing the area of any trees and their roots, as well as any buildings or obstacles that may be present. This will allow the excavation to begin quickly and safely and reduce the risk of damage to nearby structures.