According to the national Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), excavation and trenching are among the most hazardous construction operations. Excavation is a fairly routine part of main water line, sewer and septic, and residential underground water pipe repair. Because it is such a dangerous task to perform, we highly recommend that if your plumbing repair needs require excavation, that you leave it to your local plumber. At Culler Plumbing Services, we can handle all of your underground plumbing installation and repairs through a variety of methods, including excavation.
Follow along in today’s post as we discuss some important excavation safety tips.
Excavation Safety Tips From Your Belleville Plumber
Anytime there is heavy machinery, underground utilities, or holes involved, the tasks risk for causing property damage or personal injury quickly escalates. Excavation and trenching as it relates to plumbing installation and repairs combine all of those hazardous things into one project! Among the risks are a collapse of trench walls, falls, and damage to underground utilities. Here are some helpful tips to help reduce the risk of injury and damage during an excavation.
Stay out of the trench.
Whether you are the one leading the excavation project or a professional plumbing company is creating a trench in your yard, the best thing you can do is to keep everyone out of the trench. There is no need to be in the trench unless you are actively working on the pipeline, in which case, the trench should be inspected beforehand. While you are in the trench, movement should be limited and you should never rest against trench walls. The collapse of trench walls and soggy trench bottoms can cause unnecessary injury.
Keep equipment away from trench edge.
It is important to remember that trench walls in an excavation project are dug out earth that has not been packed down or reinforced. Always assume that anything on the edge of a trench is going to go into the trench. Keep equipment, especially heavy machinery away from the edge of any trench to avoid a collapse of the edge. If machinery falls into the excavated trench, it could damage the machinery and the pipe it falls onto, as well as any person who may be either in/on the machinery or in the trench.
Know where underground utilities are.
Not only is this a safety tip, but it is also a legal tip. Before you are legally able to excavate, you are required to obtain a permit and know where underground utility lines are prior to excavation. Be mindful that a web of lines can be found underground including municipal plumbing, sewer, gas, and electrical lines. To prevent damage to the utility lines and injury to you, it is critical to know where these lines are and how your project may impact them. Local plumbing companies have access to this information and know how to use it to safely excavate on your property.
Check the integrity of the trench after rain.
Rain has the ability to make any soil soft and soggy, an excavated trench is no exception. In fact, raw, freshly dug up earth can become much softer much quicker, causing unstable trench floor and walls. Be sure to check the integrity of the trench after rain before continuing any work.
Hire your local plumbing professional.
Excavation is no small task, and should not be taken lightly. The safest way to excavate a trench to install new septic, sewer, or water lines is to call your professional Belleville plumber! At Culler Plumbing, our experienced crew has the equipment, training, licensure, and insurance to excavate safely. We pride ourselves on doing quality work, as quickly and efficiently as possible, at prices you can afford. For your free estimate, contact our plumbing company today.
**It is important to note that improper excavation can lead to significant property damage or personal injury. It is best to hire licensed and insured plumbing contractors with experience to perform excavation. Culler Plumbing does not assume liability if any of the following tips are used and result in damages. For more information, contact us today.