If it involves excavating and moving dirt and debris at a worksite, excavation contractors are the right people for the job. One of the main reasons why general contractors need to enlist the services of these contractors is because excavations present serious safety concerns that need to be effectively addressed before, during and even after work.
Here is a run-through of some major hazards associated with excavation jobs, and the steps that can be taken to keep those hazards in check:
- Worker health and safety hazards
Excavation jobs may expose workers to a range of different health and safety hazards, such as falls into excavations and trenches, excavated loads falling on employees, cave-ins, inhalation of harmful airborne particles, injuries caused by mobile or working equipment, et cetera. Before getting started with any excavation work, excavation contractors usually determine all health and safety risks associated with each excavation, so they can apply the most effective methods of controlling them.
To ensure that worker health and safety requirements are met, personnel employed to perform excavation work must be properly trained to do the job. When excavation workers are equipped with the right working tools and equipment and they know exactly what they need to do to stay safe, they can effectively control most safety hazards.
As a general contractor, you are responsible for ensuring the safety of your jobsite. If any worker gets injured because you did not put in place adequate measures to ensure their safety, you may be held legally liable for their injuries. Subcontracting an excavation contractor is a great way reduce liability for the safety of workers because you will have assigned the job to a professional.
- Environmental hazards
Excavation work not only exposes workers to health and safety hazards, but it may also degrade the environment. An excavation itself is a disturbance of the natural order of things because it involves removing earth from its original placement. Other environmental hazards typically associated with most excavation jobs include the release of harmful site particulates into the atmosphere, toxic emissions from excavation and other equipment, spillage of equipment fluids into the ground, and so on.
The same way there are rules and regulations on worker health and safety, environmental laws also accrue to excavation projects. Excavation contractors can take appropriate steps to minimise the negative impacts of their activities on the environment. Some of these steps include investing in excavation equipment that gives off lower levels of toxic gas emissions, cleaning up after harmful spillages onsite, restoration of excavated sites, and so on.
If you are a general contractor, it is clearly best to hire an excavation contractor to do excavation work for you.