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Safe work method statement - Backhoe - Excavation of earth

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What is earthworks excavation?

Backhoes are commonly used to undertake excavation works at civil and construction workplaces to excavate trenches for services, bulk excavation works, batters as well as backfill trenches and load vehicles.

  • The nature of the excavation works and associated hazards e.g. confined space or bulk earthworks shall determine the size and type of backhoe required;
  • Backhoes are a quick method by which to undertake excavation works and move bulk materials.
Hazards and risks

Hazards associated with the operation of a backhoe to undertake the excavation of earth at a civil or construction workplace would include but not be limited to:

  • Excavation of live electrical service where not identified;
  • Damage to backhoe where operators have not been instructed as to the control measures to be implemented to eliminate or minimise risk;
  • Persons struck and damage to plant where backhoe enters trench;
  • Death or serious injury to persons where a trench is not battered, benched or shored to prevent collapse;
  • Collapse of trench or excavation where excavated material is placed or backhoe is operated within close proximity of an exposed edge.
  • Etc.

Safety procedure includes

Backhoe - Earthworks excavation safe work method statement

Backhoe - Earthworks excavation 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 as a result of undertaking the excavation of earthworks using a backhoe.

inc GST

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 by operation of backhoe.
  • Non-identification of underground services.
  • Faulty or defective plant.
  • Alteration or modification of backhoe.
  • Conduct of pre-operational inspection.
  • Setting up of backhoe.
  • Undertaking of excavation works.
  • Benching, battering and shoring of trenches.
  • Backfilling of trenches and excavations.
  • Operation of backhoe.
  • Traversing or movement of backhoe at a workplace.
  • Manual handling requirements.
  • Personal protective equipment requirements.
  • Training requirements.
  • Housekeeping requirements.
  • Failure to monitor controls.
  • Risk matrix and descriptors.
  • Additional hazards, risks and controls form.
  • Approval and change management form.
  • Sign-off form - Excavation of earth using backhoe.

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