Lot Excavation for Foundations: A Guide for HomeownersFebruary 16, 2023
Different challenges and hazards occur throughout the soil excavation process in construction, which affects the overall finish of the intended structure. However, it helps in restoring the soil content. Assembling the right equipment is critical to lot excavation, as it allows the process to be undertaken efficiently to the required standards and in compliance.
Different hazard types are merged with soil excavation, such as falling workers into open pits, workers buried due to earth collapse, mudslides causing cave-ins, and soil side failures of pits and trenches. The earlier the hazards are identified, the easier it is to ensure preventive measures are observed to avoid accidents at construction sites.
Some of the challenges and their preventive measures are as follows:
- Excavation above three meters
- Excavation below three meters
- Deep and narrow excavation
- Over excavation
Excavation above three meters is mainly involved with the construction of foundations of tall buildings where basements are found. Its hazards vary and are as follows with their reputable solutions:
- Equipment and vehicle movement close to edging cut. This causes workers to be trapped and cave-ins. The solution to this would be to barricade excavated area using proper lighting. Furthermore, maintaining a two-meter distance from edge cutting using stop blocks averts over-run strengthening strutting and shoring.
- Excavating in the surrounding area of an existing building causes it to collapse. The solution is to employ the under-pinning method and build a side-by-side retaining wall.
- Flooding is caused by underground water and excessive rains, leading to drowning. The solution is to provide watering pumps of suitable sizes and seal or divert water entry points.
For excavations below three meters, it involves foundation constructions, examining subsurface soil, and observing the water table, among others. The following challenges and their prospective solutions are outlined below:
- Human contact with sunken gas, oil pipelines, and electric cables may cause explosions and electrocution. The solution is to locate the buried utilities, first dig manually and use mechanical means afterward.
- Site workers tripped into the excavated area, causing personal injury. The solution is to barricade excavated area using warning signs, install escape ladders, and provide a minimum of two exits and entries.
- Earth collapses due to the soil being waterlogged; hence when it occurs, it causes suffocation and traps workers. The solution is to employ strutting and sorting, restricting vehicles from operating near the excavation site and maintaining a two-meter distance from the cutting edge.
Deep and narrow excavations mainly involve pipelines and underground water pipes. Its challenges and solutions are as follows:
- Flooding in the excavated area is caused by hydrostatic testing. The solution is to ensure adequate ventilation and escape ladders in place.
- Frequent slides and cave-ins result in severe injuries. The solution is to ensure escape ladders are provisioned and battering of the sides.
Over-excavation causes wall deformation and could jeopardize the excavation process. The solution is to properly monitor the excavation process to ensure it is within the required limits.
A proper survey before excavation will ensure that safety compliance and precautions are observed. The right tools and having utilities marked will ease the excavation process.
Check with LH Stokes for all your excavation needs.