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DIY Excavation Hazards To Watch Out For

The excavation process can be dangerous, and many things can go wrong if you're not careful. That's why experts recommend that you use a reputable excavation contractor who can ensure that the job is done safely and correctly.

However, if you're determined to do the job yourself, there are a few things you need to watch out for. Discover three main excavation hazards to be aware of:

Unstable Ground

If the ground is not compacted correctly, it can settle and shift over time. This can cause the sides of an excavation to collapse, potentially injuring workers or damaging equipment. You might also have to deal with sinkholes or other types of instability.

In addition, if the ground contains a high water table, it can become saturated and unstable. A high water table can also create problems with seepage and flooding, all of which can make the job even more difficult. This issue can also lead to collapses, particularly if heavy rains occur.

If there is an underground stream or spring, it can erode the sides of an excavation and cause a collapse. Underground streams can sometimes be difficult to detect, so it's important to be aware of the possibility.

Finally, if tree roots are present, they can destabilize the ground and cause a collapse. As trees grow, their roots spread out and grow deeper. If they reach an excavation site, they can lift and crack the sides of the hole, hence the possibility of collapse.

These risks can be mitigated by working with an experienced excavation contractor. They will know how to properly assess the stability of the ground and take the necessary precautions. They will also have the right equipment to safely and efficiently excavate any tedious site.

Atmospheric Hazards

You need to be aware of a few atmospheric hazards when excavating. First, if there is any chance of a gas leak, you need to take precautions. Some gas lines run deep underground, so if you're excavating near the line, you could potentially rupture it. This would be very dangerous and could lead to an explosion.

Any type of gas can be dangerous, but methane is particularly explosive in the presence of oxygen. So if you're working near a gas line, make sure you're familiar with the shut-off valve so you can quickly turn it off if necessary.

Low oxygen levels can also happen if you're excavating in an enclosed space, such as a trench. If the oxygen level gets too low, it can lead to asphyxiation. This is very dangerous, so it's important to be aware of the signs of low oxygen levels. These include shortness of breath, dizziness, and headache.

If you experience any of these symptoms, get out of the excavation immediately and call for help. If you still want to continue with the project, hire an experienced contractor to complete the job. They have the necessary safety equipment, such as oxygen tanks, to ensure minimal interruption. 

For more information, contact a local excavating company