Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Excavation Inspection Checklist

Excavations, adjacent areas, and protective systems shall be inspected by a Competent Person daily prior to the start of work, as needed throughout the shift, and after every rainstorm or other hazard increasing occurrence. The Competent Person has the authority to remove workers from an excavation immediately.


  1. Surface Obstructions (trees, sidewalks, foundations, etc.) removed or supported?
  2. Workforce safeguarded from loose rock, sand or soil that could cause a fatal hazard by falling or rolling into the excavation?
  3. Safety hard helmets are worn by all employees?
  4. Materials, equipment and spoils set at least 1 meter from the edge of the excavation?
  5. Barriers protection system provided at all remotely located excavations, wells, pits, shafts, etc.?
  6. Bridges or walkways over excavations 5 feet or more in depth are appropriately equipped with standard protection system such as guardrails and toe-boards?
  7. High-visibility reflective warning vest or coveralls/unforms worn by all workforce exposed to public vehicular traffic and other operating equipment?
  8. Workforce are recommended to stay away from vehicles being loaded or unloaded?
  9. Proper Warning systems developed, inducted and utilized when mobile equipment/heavy machinery is in operation near the edge of the excavation?
  10. Employees are prohibited from going under suspended loads?
  11. Workers are restricted from working on the faces of sloped or benched excavations above other employees?


  1. Various Utility Companies (Water, Gas, Electricity, Sewerage) contacted and/or approximate location of utilities marked?
  2. Overhead live electrical lines noted & reviewed, and all possible precautionary measures are taken to ensure contact does not occur?
  3. Various Underground Utility installations appropriately protected, supported, or removed when excavation is open?


  1. Lateral travel to means of escape no more than 25 ft (excavations 4 ft or more in depth)?
  2. Employees properly protected from cave-in when entering or exiting the excavation?
  3. Any Ladders used in excavations secured firmly and extended minimum 3-feet above the edge of the trench?
  4. Are all structural ramps used by workforce developed by a Competent and experienced Personal?
  5. Ramps made of materials of uniform standardized thickness, cleated together on the bottom, equipped with non-slip surface?
  6. Structural ramps used for equipment designed by a registered professional and competent engineer?


  1. Proper recommended and required Precautions taken to protect employees from the flooding due to accumulation of water?
  2. Water removal equipment monitored by an authorised, competent and experienced Person?
  3. Surface water or runoff controlled appropriately and securely or diverted away from the excavation?
  4. Regular Inspections/observations made after every rainstorm or other hazard-increasing occurrence?


  1. Atmospheric testing required? If YES, refer to Confined Space Entry policy. (Testing required where there is a reasonable possibility of an oxygen deficiency, combustible or other contaminant exposing employees to a hazard)
  2. Proper essential precautionary initiatives taken to protect workers from exposures to an atmosphere containing less than 19.5% oxygen (Oxygen deficiency) and/or to other hazardous atmospheres?
  3. Proper and essential ventilation mechanism provided to prevent worker's exposure to an atmosphere containing highly flammable gas in excess of 10% of the lower explosive limit of the gas?
  4. Regular Testing carried out often to make sure that the atmosphere remains safe and secure?
  5. Emergency equipment, such as Breathing Apparatus (BA), Full Body Safety Harness and lifeline, immediate available where hazardous atmospheres could or do exist?
  6. Workers are appropriately trained to use personal protective and another rescue equipment?


  1. Protective mechanism installed without exposing workers to the fatal hazard of cave-ins, collapses, or threats of being struck by materials or equipment or heavy machinery?
  2. Support mechanism provided to make sure stability of adjacent structures, facilities, buildings, roadways, sidewalks, walls, etc.
  3. Materials and equipment used for protective systems inspected?
  4. Defective and unsecured materials, substances and equipment not in stable condition have been removed from service and service area?
  5. Damaged materials/equipment inspected by a registered professional engineer after repairs and before being placed back into service?
  6. Elements/Members of support system securely fastened to prevent failure?
  7. Elements/Members of protective systems extend at least 18 inches above the surrounding area?
  8. Material excavated (from the excavation) to a standard level no greater than 2 feet below the bottom of the protective and safeguarding support mechanism, and only if the system is developed to support the calculated loads?
  9. Employee(s) prohibited from remaining in a trench box when moved vertically?

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