Excavations and Trenches: Toolbox Talk Safety
Excavations and Trenches: Toolbox Talk Safety

In addition to trench diggers, many people on a given project aren’t directly involved with excavation — but they’re still cautious with excavation safety.

If you observe someone in imminent danger, stop what you’re doing and help them instead.

The construction industry often causes death by caving in or sloughing off. Over 15 fatalities have occurred in Washington state related to excavation activities between 1998 and 2008.

Five people were struck by falling objects, seven people suffered soil collapse (cave-in) and one person was electrocuted. The data was gathered from official sources.

In digging trenches and excavations, take care not to damage the artifacts.

Always treat utilities such as gas and electricity as live or functional before digging.

Submerging deeper than 4 feet, 1.22 meters causes the structure to collapse. Therefore, structures tilted back or supported by wedges are used to prevent this from happening.

Climbing ladders is prohibited. Access routes and exits using ladders.

People who aren’t involved need to stay away from the affected space — check out new WAC 296-155 rules 11-1-D11.

Separate Excavations and Trenches piles at least two feet from the edge.

When dumpers enter excavations, make sure stop blocks are fitted and have a signaler to guide them.

Always wear your hard hat when in public.

Never hand tools or materials to someone excavating; instead, pass the materials through a rope pulley system or use a hand-to-hand transfer. Digging too deeply can lead to injury.

Safety Toolbox Talk: Chainsaws


Before starting a shift, professional inspectors check the site for flaws.

A cubic yard of dirt weighs 1.36 tons, or 3000 pounds.

Safety when working with decks and plank scaffolds.

A presenter provides helpful information through a presenters’ tips.

Before reading the Toolbox Talk, research your topic to increase credibility and comfort.

Toolbox Talks need to be relevant to your specific workplace. This means discussing tasks, events or work areas from your job description.

Encourage discussion by asking questions that involve the help of the employees.

A list of questions that require discussion.

Besides getting stuck in a cave, what other dangers lurk?

What effect does railroad or subzero temperatures have on trenching?

Before beginning work, employees need to attend safety talks. These lessons provide important HSE management tools as well as an educational opportunity for the participants.

The hypothetical front for this service is considered non-functional. As a result, generic safety talks are required for every work environment. These talks must be modified to match the specific work fronts of the company’s Safety, Environment and Health professionals or the leaders of each sector. Only the person who holds the Safety Talks position is accountable for their dialogue!

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