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368 Potentially dangerous excavation

Report ID: 368

Published: Newsletter No 35 - July 2014

Report Overview

A reporter has submitted this photograph of a potentially dangerous excavation.

Report Content

A reporter has submitted this photograph of a potentially dangerous excavation. The reporter’s concern was that when the picture was taken, there appeared to be no road plates under the digger with little bearing either side of the excavation.

An operative also appeared to be working under the machine. There also appeared to be no trench shoring and it looked rather deep with the digger working near exposed pipes.

The reporter did not believe that these works were being carried out safely and due to the public nature of the works, believed this could affect not just the workers but the public too.

Comments

Poor safety in routine ground works is a perennial problem. There are innumerable examples of diggers and other heavy equipment falling into excavations and innumerable examples of ground collapse, many resulting deaths and injuries. Constant education of the dangers is required at every level.

No competent contractor would allow the situation shown in the photograph to develop and it reflects badly not only on the contractor responsible but also any other contractors involved in the project, and indeed the client which engaged them.

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