The Background to the Process of Excavation

The Background to the Process of Excavation

In the construction industry, as in many industries, the process of excavation is essential to the success of a project. In fact, in most cases, excavation is the first step. For example, in the mining industry, it is hard to imagine anything useful being achieved without some type of soil disturbance taking place.

Excavation – Legal Definitions

However, an excavation in a legal sense is more than a soil disturbance. Worksafe Queensland defines an excavation as “a trench, tunnel or shaft, but does not include a mine, water bore, or a trench for use as a place of interment”. The manner in which the excavation process in a workplace is managed is subject to the requirements of legislation, regulations and codes of practice.

Excavation Work is considered to be High Risk

In Queensland, excavation work is considered to be construction work under the WHS Regulation 2011 and must be carried out in accordance with these regulations. In addition, when that work is carried out in or near a shaft or trench with an excavated depth greater than 1.5 metres, it is considered to be high risk construction work. It is one of many other activities that also fall under this classification.

Because excavation is highly regulated there is a range of risk management processes that are required to be performed. These are designed to protect the health and safety of the workers conducting excavations, as well as members of the public who may be impacted by the work being undertaken.

Civil and Public Projects Need Excavations

Major civil construction projects would not be possible without the ability to perform excavations using mechanical equipment. Drainage works, pipe and culvert construction, retaining walls and streetscape works are all examples of typical works that begin with excavations. Essential public infrastructure such as dams, roads, railways and airports all require excavations at critical stages of the projects.

Excavations are the Foundation of Building Work

Excavation work is critical to the success of every project as, by its very nature, it is performed at ground level. It usually involves preparing the foundations of buildings ranging from an average family home to high rises, large industrial and commercial complexes and other constructions. It may also involve preparing trenches to lay cables and other essential services such as water and sewerage pipes.

Our company, Dee Gees Bobcats, provides excavation services to a range of clients including tradespeople, private homeowners, developers and local councils. We excavate for swimming pools, driveways and also do under-house excavations. Our plant operators are experienced, skilled at performing excavations to a high standard, accustomed to working within legislative requirements and getting the job done quickly and safely.

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