Key Safety Tips for Broadband Trench Excavations

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The rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) nationwide in 2009 promised a revolution in business communications in Australia. It is estimated that by the time the network is completed in 2020, more than 10 million premises will have access to a world of connectivity options. The project has created a demand for trench excavation services. However, telecommunication service providers only work with trench excavators who prioritise safety. Therefore, you can play a critical role in determining whether the company wins a bid or not. This article highlights vital safety tips when working in trench excavations.  

Check Weather Conditions Before Work -- One commonly ignored safety measure in trench excavations is checking the weather before beginning work. Most safety officers simply clear workers to start excavations even when it is expected to rain. In most cases, such decisions are made when a project is behind schedule and a lot is at stake. However, no matter how far behind you are, the safety of workers at a worksite lies with you. As such, keep track of weather reports and watch out for rains and storms. Do not assume that you will have plenty of time to evacuate the trench because the weather can be unpredictable at times. Therefore, only allow excavations to begin or proceed when the weather condition allows.  

Create a Barrier Around the Trench -- Trench boxes are designed to provide workers with the necessary protection against loose soil. However, while you are supposed to ensure the use of stable trench boxes, it is crucial to provide another layer of safety. A barrier fence around the excavation helps to keep pedestrians as well as other workers a safe distance away from the edge of the excavated trenches. That way, if the trench should crumble for one reason or another, there will be no fatalities or accidents, especially if the excavation site is wet. The best part about these barriers is that you can easily connect individual pieces to form one long barrier around a long trench.  

Keep Heavy Equipment a Safe Distance -- Big excavators play an integral role in excavation projects. The huge buckets can remove vast amounts of soil at a time, thereby shortening a project's turnaround time. However, big excavators are best used for breaking ground in the early stages of an excavation project. When the trench starts to take form, smaller excavators replace the bigger ones because of the danger of operating too close to the trench's edge. If your excavator has a long arm, then you can move it further away and continue with the excavations. Alternatively, mini-excavators are an excellent replacement for huge excavators because they are light and can easily move around the trench without disturbing the ground much.

For more information, contact an excavation contractor.