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    Top tips for avoiding excavation pitfalls

    Published on 29 February 2016, Monday, 2:37 AM

    Whether laying a garden path or building a six-lane interstate highway, the foundation of any construction project is excavation.

    Safe Work Australia's June 2015 report on work-related injuries and fatalities found that a typical claim in a workplace injury situation can involve 6.4 weeks off work, and an average cost of $10,200. It's easy to see why prevention is the smartest action you can take when managing your site.

    As an employer, under WorkCover you're responsible for the safe entry and exit to your workplace, keeping everything clear and accessible, and providing suitable floor surfaces, which isn't always easy when carrying out excavation work. Before firing up your excavators, get off on the right foot by following our guide to identifying and minimising some of the most common risks in the excavation process.

    Mind your step

    One of the greatest hazards in excavation comes from loose, fragile rock - you can't go disturbing the ground without expecting it to fight back a little! Fortunately, Kennards has all the earthmoving equipment you might need to show your site who's boss. From diggers and dumpers to excavators and trenchers, ensure the stability of your project with the right tools to prevent falls during construction, or greater problems down the line.

    According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, in 2010-11 there were almost 500,000 hospitalisations due to injury, 40 per cent of which were from falls. Keep your project on steady ground by stabilising what's under foot. 

    Isolate your problems

    Sometimes on excavation sites, despite your best efforts to secure an area, problems can arise which {that} will take longer to mitigate than most. Unexpected and uncharted plumbing or cables, strangely uncooperative patches of earth, even immovable subterranean rocks and tree roots can all cause havoc to excavation equipment.

    If something needs to be filed in the 'too-hard basket' until a later date, be sure to isolate and clearly demarcate the problem with Kennards' range of barriers. The easier you and your workers can identify a dangerous patch of your site, the less likely you are to have a problem.

    If in doubt, chuck it out

    As any good digger knows, there's an awful lot of junk beneath our feet just waiting to be dug up. Sadly, on a construction site, your excavation is unlikely to unearth a pirate's bounty or the long-lost remains of King Richard III, which is why you'll need plenty of options for waste disposal on your project. Old ceramic pipes, formless hunks of concrete and non-biodegradable plastic remnants are all pretty commonplace when digging up the earth, so we offer options to control on-site waste and recycling ideal for any project size.

    There are dozens of things that can go wrong in the initial stages of a construction project, but using these tips will put you on solid footing from the outset. Talk to your local Kennards Hire Centre representative to get the equipment and advice you need, and bury those problems before they have a chance to happen. 

    Nathan Mills portrait image
    Nathan Mills
    Nathan is a seasoned Kennards Hire team member passionate about empowering DIYers in their projects. He loves everything DIY and brings together years of equipment and project experience to help customers get the right tools for their next job.