These guidelines identify general safety precautions that should be reviewed and followed during construction and excavation:

  • When working on or near construction or renovation projects, always wear the proper personal protective equipment, (i.e., hard hat, goggles, and gloves).
  • Prior to the start of construction or renovation, all areas should be inspected for the presence of asbestos and lead, and all sources of potentially hazardous energy (electrical, natural gas, steam lines) in the area should be located. Please consult the Natural Gas Leak Policy for additional information.
  • For confined space entry, please refer to the Confined Space Entry Policy.
  • Supervisors should ensure employees receive training in the proper use of tools and protective equipment.
  • If a respiratory protection is required, only those employees who have had a medical evaluation and fit test shall be allowed in the area
  • Excavations and trenches more than four feet deep shall have proper sloping or shoring. Employees should never enter a cave-in site in an attempt to rescue another worker without shoring in place

General Excavation Safety Tips

  • Underground utilities must be located and marked.
  • Trenches over 4 feet deep must have a safe exit such as a ramp or ladder within 25 feet of every worker.
  • Trenches 5 feet or deeper will be inspected daily by the Environmental, Health and Safety manager.
  • Excavated material and other objects must be kept at least 2 feet from a trench opening.
  • No work on the sides of sloped or benched excavations above other employees is allowed unless the lower worker is protected from falling material.
  • Station a person outside the trench to detect shifting earth and warn workers to leave a trench.
  • Excavating under the base or footing of a foundation or wall requires a support system designed by a registered professional engineer.
  • Construction or renovation projects may require the placement of barricades, guardrails, or toe boards for employee protection. If barricades are left in place at night, adequate safety-flasher lighting is necessary.
  • Special precautions must be taken when constructing or repairing roofs.