Excavation inspection

Excavation inspectionObjective of Excavation inspection

All aspects and materials of an excavation operation, including the shoring are covered in excavation inspection, shall be inspected by a Trained, qualified, and designated person every day prior to use, to ensure that there is no danger of collapse. Excavations that are open for 7 days or more shall be inspected in addition to the above every 7 days and the results recorded in the “Excavation Inspection Register”


In order to provide a safe footing at the edge, and to prevent spoil falling into an excavation, a clear space at least 1 meter (3 feet) wide shall be maintained on all sides.

Mechanical Excavator

Workers shall not be permitted to work underneath loads or in places where they could be struck by any part of a mechanical excavator. During mechanical excavation operation, workers are instructed to communicate with the site supervisor or the designated person on all the work details prior to all activities.

The excavator / bucket shall not be used to lift employees from the excavation

A complete site assessment must be performed, and adequate precautionary measures must be in place when pipelines, electrical cables, e.c.t. are in the vicinity.


Where employees, equipment, or members of the public are required or permitted to cross over an excavation, a close planked bridge or walkway with standard Guardrails shall be provided and kept clear of excavated materials or other tripping hazards. No footpath shall be undermined unless properly shored.


Safe means of getting into and out of an excavation shall be provided at an interval not exceeding 7.5 meters (25 feet). Ladders shall conform to the requirements set out in be placed at an angle of 75 degrees, and extend at least 1.0 Meter (3 feet) above the stepping-off point. Ladders shall be securely fixed.


Whenever it is necessary to place or operate power shovels, derricks, trucks, materials, soil banks or other heavy objects on a level above and near an excavation, the side of the excavation shall be sheet-piled, shored, and braced as necessary to resist the extra pressure due to such superimposed loads.

When mobile equipment is utilized or allowed adjacent to excavations, substantial barricades shall be installed the same distance away from the edge as the depth of the excavation. If men or vehicles are in the vicinity after dark, fixed warning lights shall be used to mark the limits of the work.

Any excavations shall be barricaded off by means of rope and warning tape. Excavations of a depth of 2 m or more or where other dangers exist e.g. water, shall be provided with rigid barriers.

Any excavation deeper than 1.2 meters as well as deeper than the width of the excavation up to 3 meters shall be regarded as confined space and requires a confined space PTW


Backfilling and removal of trench supports shall be accomplished first by backfilling up to a level allowing for the removal of the lower braces. Another layer of backfill shall be positioned in the trench to the next layer of braces to be removed. Removal of trench supports shall progress together with the backfill from the bottom of the trench. In unstable soil, ropes shall be used to pull out the jacks or braces from above after employees have cleared the trench. All excavations shall be back filled and consolidated, and the surface shall be left in good condition as soon as is practicable.