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Marsh excavation is no simple task, and if not properly executed, serious damage to both workers and the environment can occur. At Stan’s, we use the following five excavator safety tips to ensure the wellbeing of ourselves and the surrounding marsh.
1. Protecting the trench
In order to protect the trench itself, it’s important that you move any heavy equipment at least two feet away from its edges. Make sure to note any other sources that may affect the stability of the trench and plan around these.
2. Protecting the environment
Before you dig, always make sure that you know exactly where any underground utilities lie. Once your trench exceeds four feet in depth, begin testing for atmospheric hazards like poisonous fumes, low oxygen, and toxic gases.
3. Competent persons
OSHA demands that a competent person inspect trenches before workers enter each day and as the conditions change. This competent person is also accountable for:
- Designing structural ramps,
- Classifying the soil,
- Monitoring water removal equipment,
- Performing site inspections to discover potential hazards, and
- Inspecting protective systems.
4. Protecting workers
To ensure the safety of yourself and your workers, make sure that everyone is dressed properly in highly visible and protective clothing including hard hats and steel-toed boots. It is also critical that you do not work underneath any raised or suspended materials.
5. Depth safety
As the depth of a trench increases, so does the risk. At four feet deep, you must ensure that workers have an easily accessible exit within twenty-five feet. At five feet deep, a protective system is mandatory, unless the excavation is completely constructed within stable rock. At twenty feet or greater, these protective systems must be specially designed by a registered professional engineer, or constructed based off of data prepared by said engineer.
We take excavator safety very seriously at Stan’s Airboat & Marsh Excavator Service. When you hire professionals like us, you can rest assured that we are taking all of the necessary steps to keep the surrounding environment in tact. Contact us today to request a quote!