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3 Risks Of Do-It-Yourself Excavation

Excavation projects come in many shapes and sizes, which ultimately means that many people believe they can tackle smaller jobs on their own. While digging a relatively shallow and narrow trench on your own might be safe, anything much more significant is a task best left to professional contractors. Below you'll find three hazards that make do-it-yourself excavation a risk that's rarely worth taking.

1. Inadequate Safety Knowledge

Working around a deep trench can be hazardous, even if you handle the excavation process flawlessly. A critical part of working around any trench is a clear understanding of the hazards. Cave-ins and falls can happen even after you finish digging, and falling into a relatively shallow trench may still lead to severe injuries.

It's also essential to recognize where parts of your trench may be unstable. Stepping too close to loose soil at the edge of a trench can lead to a collapse, causing anyone standing nearby to fall and potentially injure themselves. Even if no one is in danger, these situations can force you to excavate the same area twice, wasting significant amounts of time and effort.

2. Poor Planning and Preparation

You can find buried infrastructure almost anywhere. Gas lines, plumbing, and even electricity can pop up in unexpected places. If you aren't the original owner of your property, you may be unaware of old utilities traveling across your lawn. While the utility company can tell you about their gas lines, they may not know about owner-installed lines or even buried power lines leading to sheds or driveway lights.

Professional contractors understand these risks and perform their excavations with the knowledge that there may be hidden utilities, even after planning as much as possible. These extra steps and a high level of caution can mean the difference between a successful excavation project and a disaster that requires significant repair work.

3. Inappropriate Equipment or Training

Most significant excavation projects require heavy equipment, at least if you plan to finish in a reasonable amount of time. Using the wrong equipment or operating heavy equipment without training can put the operator and surrounding property at risk. Causing damage while using equipment you're unfamiliar with can quickly cause the cost of your project to skyrocket.

When you work with professionals to perform your excavation, you know they'll choose the correct equipment to get the job down quickly, efficiently, and safely. Although you'll spend more money upfront, you'll benefit in the long run by reducing your risks and ensuring that you complete your project correctly the first time.

For more information, reach out to a civil excavation service in your area.