From digging into layers of earth to blasting through concrete, a typical excavation site is bustling with activity. To keep workers protected, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has standards in place regarding proper site procedures. Unfortunately, some of these standards can get misconstrued or misinterpreted as projects move along. To keep your job on track, below is the correct information for three of the most common misconceptions.
3 Myths About OSHA Excavation Standards
1. Only One Site Inspection Needs to be Completed Per Day
Although the excavation site should be inspected at the beginning of the workday for signs of protective system damage, cave-ins, or any additional causes for concern, the OSHA standard also requires the site be reexamined throughout the shift. This is to protect both workers and the site, as safety conditions could change while work is underway.
2. Protective Systems Are Only Required When Excavating 5 Feet or Deeper
Many workers falsely believe the OSHA standard only requires that protective systems, such as shoring and trench boxes, be used when excavating to a depth of five feet or more. In reality, a protective system should be utilized for all excavation work, unless the ground has been examined and deemed unlikely to cave in.
3. Walkways Must be Installed Over Excavations to Cross Them
Although installing walkways over wide excavations will make navigating the site and moving equipment easier, the OSHA standard does not require crossings for all excavations. When deciding whether to install a path, take the depth of the excavation into account. A trench only a foot wide, for example, wouldn’t necessarily need a crossing to safely move from one side to the other. The OSHA requires crossings when the trench is 30 inches wide or more at the top.
Whether you need excavation services for septic tank installation, new building construction, or a different application, the professionals at Stevee Excavation in Wingdale, NY, are available to assist. With 24 years of experience, trust the team to adhere to OSHA standards and ensure site safety and project expectations are met. To discuss your excavation needs in Putnam, Westchester, Dutchess, or Orange counties, or for service in Connecticut, call (845) 832-0109 to speak with a representative. Visit the excavation contractor online, and follow them on Facebook to see pictures of their work.