4 Things To Do When You Use An Excavator On Your Work Site

8 September 2015
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

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When you are using an excavator on a construction site, you may not think very much about anything other than digging. However, it is important that you use the following suggestions to ensure that your work with an excavator is effective and safe.

Check for Underground Utilities

Unless you are excavating on a site that has never had a structure on it, you are likely to need to make sure that you know where underground utility lines are. Knowing where these lines are will help you avoid hitting and damaging them when you dig, which can preserve utility service for the site and nearby areas. Simply call utility companies directly, and they will send out a representative who will clearly mark any lines with colored flags.

Get a Soil Analysis

To be safe, it's a good idea to have a soil analysis done on the work site before you start excavating. Doing so ensures that the ground is stable enough to withstand the weight of the excavator you plan to use. Send a soil sample to a testing laboratory in the area to determine whether you can use the excavator to dig without worrying that you will have a cave-in.

There are three different soil types: A, B and C. C is the most unstable, and steps should be taken to put a protective system in place before you dig. If you are unable to get a soil analysis, it is important to assume that you are dealing with Type C soil so that everyone can remain safe.

Avoid Putting Spoils Near Trench Openings

When you dig with an excavator, you must transport the soil you've dug up away from the trench. That soil is referred to as a "spoil". It is important that you avoid putting spoils too close to the trench, as extra weight near a trench's opening can lead to a cave-in. Temporary spoil should be further than 2 feet away from the edge of the trench so that the soil doesn't fall down on workers. After the trench is dug, the spoils must be taken to another location off-site.

Keep an Eye on the Track

It's a good idea to inspect the rubber track on the bottom of the excavator you're using to make sure that the track hasn't worn away or become torn so that you can see the steel imbeds. If that happens, it can interfere with proper functioning and lead to contamination of the undercarriage by moisture and debris. Be sure the track is intact before using it for a day's work.

Now that you know some of the things you should do when you are using an excavator on a construction site, use the information above to make smart decisions about how to proceed. Work with the rest of the crew on your site to minimize the chances of accidents and injuries. If you feel unsafe doing this work yourself, don't hesitate to hire an excavation company, like T C Enterprises LLC.