Excavation Contractors Safety Rules, Policies, and Procedures

The safety rules contained on these pages have been prepared to protect you in your daily work. Employees are to follow these rules, review them often and use good common sense in carrying out assigned duties.

Job Site Personnel

  1. Do not start work until barricades, barrier logs, fill or other protection have been installed to isolate the work area from local traffic.
  2. Reflective warning vests must be worn by traffic flagmen who are assigned to controlling traffic.
  3. Do not walk under platforms that bridge a trench.
  4. Do not enter a trench unless you have been given permission by the competent person. Seek out and identify the designated "Competent person" for the excavation site.

Lifting Procedures

  1. Plan the move before lifting; remove obstructions from your chosen pathway.
  2. Test the weight of the load before lifting by pushing the load along its resting surface.
  3. If the load is too heavy or bulky, use lifting and carrying aids such as hand trucks, dollies, pallet jacks and carts, or get assistance from aco-worker.
  4. If assistance is required to perform a lift, coordinate and communicate your movements with those of your co-worker.
  5. Position your feet 6 to 12 inches apart with one foot slightly in front of the other.
  6. Face the load.
  7. Bend at the knees, not at the back.
  8. Keep your back straight.
  9. Get a firm grip on the object with your hands and fingers. Use handles when present.
  10. Never lift anything if your hands are greasy or wet.
  11. Wear protective gloves when lifting objects with sharp corners or jagged edges.
  12. Hold objects as close to your body as possible.
  13. Perform lifting movements smoothly and gradually; do not jerk the load.
  14. If you must change direction while lifting or carrying the load, pivot your feet and turn your entire body. Do not twist at the waist.
  15. Set down objects in the same manner as you picked them up, except in reverse.
  16. Do not lift an object from the floor to a level above your waist in one motion. Set the load down on a table or bench and then adjust your grip before lifting it higher.
  17. Slide materials to the end of the tailgate before attempting to lift them off of a pick- up truck. Do not lift over the walls or tailgate of the truck bed.

Access and Egress Safety

  1. Use ladders, structural ramps, or stairways as a means of access or egress from excavations.
  2. Do not use scrap lumber, excavation machinery, or other improvised devices for climbing.
  3. Do not climb a ladder unless it extends at least three (3) feet or three (3) rungs beyond the edge of the trench.

Crane Safety

  1. Do not use load hooks that are cracked, bent or broken.
  2. Do not use cranes that do not have their rated load capacity indicated on each side of the crane or on its load block.
  3. Passengers are not permitted to ride inside the operator's cab of a truck crane.
  4. Keep crane windows clean. Do not use a crane if its windows are broken.
  5. Do not exceed the rated load capacity as specified by the manufacturer.
  6. Do not operate a crane on soft ground without using cribbing and mats.
  7. Fully extend outriggers before attempting a lift.
  8. Stay outside the barricades of the posted swing radius.
  9. Do not perform any crane refits or modifications without the manufacturer's approval.
  10. Do not leave the crane unattended with a hoisted load.
  11. Do not hoist loads over people.
  12. Do not drive on the road shoulders.
  13. Wear a high visibility vest when working as a signalman.
  14. Only follow the signals of the person designated to give you signals when operating a crane.
  15. Replace the belts, gears or rotating shaft guards after servicing a crane; do not use the crane if guards are missing from these areas.

Backhoe/Power Shovel Operations

  1. Do not operate backhoes, power shovels and other heavy equipment within two (2) feet from the edge of the excavation.
  2. Do not use a bucket or other attachments for a staging or temporary platform for workers.
  3. Stay in the compartment during operation of the backhoe or power shovel. Do not reach in or attempt to operate controls from outside the backhoe or power shovel.

Trench box Safety

  1. Do not enter a trench box during its installation or removal.
  2. Do not enter a trench box that is being moved.

Personal Protective Equipment

  1. Do not paint or drill holes in your hardhat.
  2. Do not wear hard hats that are dented or cracked.
  3. Wear safety glasses, goggles or face shields when operating chippers, grinders, lathes or sanders.
  4. Wear face shields over goggles or safety glasses during open furnace, hot dipping, metal plating or gas cutting operations.
  5. Wear chemical goggles when using, applying or handling chemical liquids or powders from containers labeled "CAUSTIC" or "CORROSIVE".
  6. Do not continue to work if your safety glasses become fogged. Stop work and clean the glasses until the lenses are clear and defogged.
  7. Wear a welding helmet or welding goggles during welding operations.
  8. Wear dielectric gloves when working on electric current.
  9. Wear ear plugs or ear muffs in areas posted "Hearing Protection Required".
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