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Excavation Works

Excavation work generally means work involving the removal of soil or rock from a site to form an open face, hole or cavity using tools, machinery or explosives.

A person conducting a business or undertaking must manage risks associated with all kinds of excavations at the workplace, no matter how deep.

Specific duties apply in relation to the higher-risk excavations such as trenching, wall shafts, tunneling and underground work. However these requirements do not apply to a mine, a bore to which a relevant water law applies or a trench used as a place of interment.

Any construction work (including any work connected with an ‘excavation’) that is carried out in or near:

A shaft or trench with an excavated depth of greater than 1.5 metres
A tunnel


Hazards Associated with Excavation Work

Without careful planning and management, an excavation site can be hazardous to all persons in the vicinity of the construction work. Particular hazards identified in relation to excavation work include:

The Depth of the Xxcavation
Nature of the strata (soil variations creating the potential for the sides to collapse)
Fractures or Faults
The presence of water (from other sources)
Exposure to wet weather
Any load close to the edge of the zoned of influence
The exposure time
Any previous disturbance
Adjoining buildings
Adjacent excavations
Vibration which may increase the potential to collapse
The presence of existing underground services
Chemical gases