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Safe work method statement - Excavation works - General safety issues

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General safety issues

The performance of excavation works at a workplace without having given consideration to potential hazards exposes persons to the risk of death or injury.


Tasks associated with the excavation works would include:

  • Job preparation and planning prior to the performance of excavation works;
  • Establishing an exclusion zone where overhead electrical services and electrical parts are present;
  • Identification as to the nature and location of any underground services;
  • Excavation works undertaken with an article or item of earthmoving plant;
  • Shoring, benching or battering of trench having depth greater than 1.5 metres;
  • Protection of excavations e.g. self-supporting barricade;
  • Manual handling and ergonomic issues associated with the set-out and performance of excavation works;
  • Personal protective equipment required to be worn and/or used when setting out and undertaking excavation works;
  • Housekeeping of a workplace and work area;
  • Monitoring of control measures in the performance of the work task.

Safety procedure includes

Excavation safety safe work method statement

Excavation safety safe work method statement is a 17 page document compliant with statute OHS reporting requirements. It identifies known hazards and risks, and outlines the control measures to be implemented to eliminate or minimise the risk of death, injury or illness generated from the performance of excavation works.

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Control measures

Control measures to eliminate or minimise the risk of death, injury or illness to persons are addressed in the safe work method statement as per the following sections.

  • Consultation with employees.
  • Generation of hazards.
  • Job preparation and planning.
  • Establishing and maintaining an exclusion zone.
  • Identification of underground services.
  • Operation of earthmoving plant in the excavation of trenches for services.
  • Shoring, benching and battering of trench.
  • Protection of excavations.
  • Manual handling issues.
  • Personal protective equipment requirements.
  • Training requirements.
  • Housekeeping requirements.
  • Failure to monitor controls.
  • Risk matrix and descriptors.
  • Additional hazards, risks and controls.
  • Approval and change management form.
  • Sign-off for performance of excavation works.

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