There is More Than One Way to Excavate

There is More Than One Way to Excavate

Small excavation projects typically involve shallow trenching and small amounts of removed material. For anything larger, however, the nature of the actual work will determine not only the most suitable excavation method but also the most appropriate safe system of work. The Excavation Work Code of Practice 2021 describes in detail the three methods of excavation as well as control methods to ensure the safety of workers and others.

First Method of Excavation – Trenching

Where a proposed trench excavation will reach at least 1.5 metres, the work area must be secured from both unauthorised and inadvertent entry. In addition, the risk of a trench collapse must be minimised by ensuring that all sides of the trench are properly supported.

To do this, there are three techniques available. In some cases, only one will be required, but often, all three are needed. These are shoring by shielding, benching, and battering. In preparation for this excavation, a range of earthmoving equipment may be used such as excavators, bulldozers, scrapers and others, as well as for the trenching work itself.

Second Method of Excavation – Tunnelling

Tunnelling is a specialised method of excavation requiring very high levels of engineering expertise at all stages of the process. Before any excavation takes place, project designers obtain site information and data which forms the basis of the engineering investigation, including anticipated excavation methods and ground conditions.

There are considerable numbers of hazards involved in tunnel construction including rock falls, fire, explosion, noise and vibration, to name just a few. There are an almost equal number of control methods including ground support, fall protection, mechanical ventilation, and dust extraction. Ground support is designed for the unique circumstances of the work and all excavation for tunnelling should be supported.

Third Method of Excavation – Shafts

The design and construction techniques involved in shafts vary according to their purpose and local conditions. A shaft is usually excavated from the top with access and soil removal also performed from the top. However, another method called raise-boring is used when underground access is already available.

Shaft openings are obviously a major safety hazard, so these should be controlled with secure, lockable covers accessible only by a person designated to manage access. There are other suitable alternative methods depending on local conditions. For special cases, precast concrete or steel liners can be installed for extra support.

Our trained and qualified operators at Dee Gees Bobcats are experienced at performing all types of excavations. We have also invested in a wide range of quality excavation equipment so we can provide our clients with a range of excavation options to suit most situations

Close Menu