Wet Weather Excavation Safety Tips

November 18, 2021 6:17 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Excavation is a risky job on even the best of days, but rainy weather can seriously put a damper on the excavation process of any construction project. Wet weather excavation is never recommended, and there are some challenges and safety concerns you need to be aware of before you can dig after a rain. Read on to get an understanding of the basic safety tips for wet weather excavation.

Be prepared

Always check weather conditions before your excavation crew heads to the jobsite. You need to be aware of rain and storm possibilities and take proper precautions. Use waterproof tarps to reduce the amount of water entering the jobsite. Even better, you can arrange for extra water pumps to carry water from the jobsite and avoid flooding. Not only does this keep the ground more stable, it also protects your equipment and supplies.

Inspect all trenches

Always check trenches each day before work begins, and keep workers from entering a trench before it’s been thoroughly inspected. While daily inspections are generally consistent with best practices, when site conditions change after a heavy rain or freezing and thawing, inspections should be more frequent. Look closely at the trench sides and any sloping and benching, paying close attention to cracks and the slope of the side or bank. Also be sure to keep heavy equipment away from trench edges for the safety of everyone working on the site.

Train your workers

Part of keeping your workforce safe is training them the right way. Make sure all workers are armed with the skills and information they need to identify wet weather hazards and minimize any associated risks. Provide workers with a plan to reorganize work so employees can be in dry sheltered areas as much as possible.

Wear protective equipment

Make sure everyone on the jobsite wears appropriate protective gear and visibility clothing. This should include a raincoat, boots and gloves that have slip-proof grips. Of course, all employees working on an excavation project must wear approved hardhats at all times.

Hire the right crew

While you can’t prevent rainy weather from pausing an excavation project, hiring the right crew helps you minimize the impact it has on the timeline of your job. An experienced crew can anticipate poor weather conditions well before any work is done on your property. Ask for a detailed proposal with the right contingency plan in place so your excavation crew has an ideal time window to get the job done right.

Digging in the rain isn’t just a nuisance—it can be extremely dangerous. There are many hazards involved with wet weather excavation, from reduced visibility and slippery driving conditions to overall instability on the jobsite. While construction delays may result due to continually wet weather, you should always proceed with caution and follow essential safety tips for wet weather excavation. Contact the team at Estes Excavating Inc. today to learn more about how we put proper excavation practices to use to get your project started on the right foot.

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