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Excavation and trenching are one of the most hazardous operations in the building industry. Dangers can include cave-ins, dropping loads, dangerous atmospheres and risks from using heavy equipment. Regular pre-work investigations can decrease hazards and serious risk of damage. Safety reviews should check for the kind of excavation being carried, support and warning systems, entrance areas, weather conditions, large equipment and PPE.
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What excavation tools and machines are being used?
Was all heavy equipment examined for their safety?
Select soil type:
Select protective system:
Excavations, nearby areas, and shielding systems are inspected by a qualified person daily before the beginning of work.
A competent person has the ability to remove workers from the excavation directly.
Surface difficulties are removed.
Reference: There are no encumbrances like utilities, foundations, streams, water tables, transformer vaults, walkways, bridges, roads, and geologic irregularities[This is an example of how you can work with Lumiform to include best practice reference pictures in your templates to help with inspections]
Walkways and bridges over excavations four feet or more in-depth are provided with approved guardrails and toeboards.
Barriers implemented at all remotely located excavations, wells, holes, shafts, etc.
Employees prevented from working under suspended loads.
Spoils, supplies, and equipment set back at least two feet of the edge of the excavation.
Employees are shielded from unattached rock or soil that could be a hazard by falling or rolling into the excavation.
Warning vests or other visible clothing are given and worn by all workers exposed to vehicular traffic.
Employees expected to stand away from vehicles that are being loaded or unloaded.
Warning system founded and used when mobile equipment is working near the edge of the excavation.
Workers prohibited from operating on the faces of sloped or benched excavations over other employees.
Hard hats are worn by all workers.
Underground installations are guarded, supported or removed when excavation is open.
Structural ramps applied for equipment designed by a certified professional engineer (RPE)
Workers are protected from cave-ins when accessing or exiting the excavation.
Structural ramps used by workers created by a qualified person.
Ladders used in excavations guarded and increased three feet beyond the edge of the trench.
Ramps composed of materials of uniform thickness, cleated together on the bottom, provided with the no-slip surface.
Lateral moving to means of egress no bigger than 25 feet in excavations four feet or more in-depth.
Inspections made after every rainstorm or other hazard increasing incident.
Water removal equipment controlled by a qualified person.
Surface water or runoff redirected or checked to inhibit accumulation in the excavation.
Precautions are taken to shield employees from the accumulation of water.
Ventilation implemented to prevent employee exposure to an atmosphere including flammable gas in excess of 10% of the lower dangerous limit of the gas.
Adequate precautions are taken to protect workers from exposure to an atmosphere including less than 19.5% oxygen and/or to other dangerous atmospheres.
Safety gear and lifeline used and personally attended when entering bell bottom or other deep defined excavations
Employees ordered to use personal protective and other safety equipment.
Emergency equipment, like breathing apparatus, safety harness and lifeline, and/or basket stretcher promptly available where dangerous atmospheres could or do exist.
The atmosphere within the excavation examined where there is a moderate possibility of an oxygen lack, combustible or other dangerous contaminant exposing employees to danger.
Testing administered often to assure that the atmosphere stays safe.
Materials and equipment that are not in good condition have been separated from service.
Damaged supplies and equipment used for protective systems examined by a certified professional engineer (RPE) after repairs and before being used again.
Protective systems installed without exposing employees to the dangers of cave-ins collapses, or risk of being struck by supplies or equipment.
Parts of the support system securely fastened to stop failure.
Materials and equipment used for protective systems examined and in great condition.
Backfilling signs of progress with the removal of the support system.
Support systems provided to assure the stability of nearby structures, buildings, roadways, sidewalks, walls, etc.
Supplies and/or equipment for support systems chosen based on soil examination, trench depth, and expected pressures.
Replacement of support systems progresses from the ground and members are released lowly as to record any indication of potential failure.
Employees are prevented from remaining in the shield system throughout vertical movement.
Excavations underneath the level of the base or footing maintained, authorised by an RPE.
Excavation of supply to a level not higher than two feet under the bottom of the support system and only if the system is meant to support the loads measured for the full depth.
Shield system installed to prevent the lateral movement.
Do you have any recommendations?
Name and signature of a qualified person:
Name and signature of inspector:
Please note that this checklist template is a hypothetical example and provides only standard information. The template does not aim to replace, among other things, workplace, health and safety advice, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or any other applicable law. You should seek your professional advice to determine whether the use of such a checklist is appropriate in your workplace or jurisdiction.
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