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Excavation Safety

Operations involving excavation can result in hazards that are difficult to control. Cave-ins and contact with buried utilities are just a couple of these hazards. This subject area was established to assist in identifying, evaluating, and controlling the risks and hazards presented by work associated with excavations. All excavation work, regardless of the level of complexity, requires pre-planning. All work must be conducted according to the Work Planning and Control for Experiments and Operations Subject Area.

This subject area defines the procedures for all excavation by BNL staff and non-BNL staff involving BNL programs on- or off-site. Excavations are defined as any human-made cut, cavity, trench, or depression in an earth surface formed by earth removal or any operation that bores into the strata below. For this subject area this definition is expanded to include environmental characterization (e.g., core drilling), jack hammering, indoor drilling/digging operations, pipe jacking, and sheet piling. Ancillary digging for non-excavation projects (e.g., driving electrical ground rods, and shallow trenching for routing utilities) must also comply with these requirements.