About Me

Planning and Executing Construction and Contracting Projects: Tips for Consumers

Welcome to my blog. My name is Deborah. About 15 years ago, I bought an old home. We worked with several contractors to rehabilitate it, but ultimately, the foundation simply wasn't stable enough, and we had to tear it down. After that, we worked with a construction crew to build a home from the ground up. The experience was exciting and challenging, and I learned a lot through that process. I want to share construction and contracting facts and information with others so I decided to start this blog. I hope that you like the results, and I thank you for reading. Enjoy!

Planning and Executing Construction and Contracting Projects: Tips for Consumers

Excavation safety through structural stability

by Samantha Russell

Civil works and excavations are twin related and largely dependent on each other.  Subsequently, there are lots of risks associated with this activity, thus, the law is very adamant on the safety of workers near excavation sites. Prior to the start of any working shift, a competent professional must inspect the site and determine its work to risk ratio. Structural aspects form the backbone of an excavation process hence; key issues will be discussed in this article.

Falling into excavations

Substantial barriers should be erected where people are liable to a fall especially on the edges. For this to be achieved, the following can be done. Firstly, the use of trench sheets and trench box extensions longer than the depth of the trench. Secondly, connect assembled fabricated rails to sides of the trench box. Lastly, insert guard rails to the ground on the edges of the excavation area.

Dislodging material

Never park vehicles close to the edges of the excavation site, the extra load may lead to a collapse. Excavations are more likely to undermine other structures within the larger radius. A structural engineers' advice may be important on the survey of the foundation of the site. Ensure that the activity does not undermine foundations of nearby buildings. Head protection must be worn at all times while inside the excavation due to any loose material falling into the excavation.

Collapse of excavations

Being a common activity in civil works, precautions taken include battering the excavation sides and providing temporary support. Battering should be done to a safe angle of repose on the excavation sides. For example, the natural angle of repose of granular soils should be more than the angle of slope while for wetter soils a flatter angle will be preferable.  Temporary support analysis must be done before any trenches are dug and all precautions and equipment needed be on site—baulks, props and trench sheets.


This key aspect provides a significant boost to the structural ability of an excavation process, therefore, minimizing risk. It involves a fully competent person who deeply understands the dangers and precautions needed to carry out the inspection before any shift begins. Inspection should be conducted when any activity that may have affected the stability and support of the site has occurred. Record keeping of inspection results is important for post-inspection analysis and any errors should be corrected immediately.

Enhancing excavation safety starts with awareness to commercial clients on what information they should provide to contractors before work begins. This information includes location of existing services, ground conditions and underground structures such as water courses. The information should be used in the planning and preparation of excavation work.