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Document ID No: MSSM-1-SF-001

Power & Water Utility Company for


Rev. No.: 0
Jubail and Yanbu (MARAFIQ) Valid Until : November 12 2010

MARAFIQ SAFETY MANUAL

7. EXCAVATION SAFETY
Reference standards
SASO 337
GS 221
OSHA 29 CFR 1926- 651-652

INTRODUCTION

Excavation is an essential element in most of the industries particularly in relation to the pipe break
repairs, construction of foundations, drainage work, layout of underground utilities such as sewerage
lines, potable water pipelines, electrical cables, instrumentation cables, etc.
In carrying out an excavation, the soil conditions can vary widely, often in short distances. No soil,
whatever its nature, can be relied upon to support its own weight or any other additional loads which
may be imposed upon by plant and materials for any length of time. Collapse of sides can result in
bury of the people and consequently leading to fatality or serious injury.

The steps must be taken to prevent:

i. Injury to persons due to accidental collapse of an excavation or by any fall of material or


machine into it and
ii. Weakening of any adjacent structure by the excavation
iii. Drowning due to flooding of water
iv. Electric shock due to damage to underground electrical cables
v. Damage to any buried utilities, etc

The sides of the excavation must be supported to prevent the possibility of collapse and
thus:

i. Provide safe conditions for persons working in or adjacent to the excavation and in some
situations, the public as well.
ii. Enable the works to be carried without interruption and
iii. Protect adjacent property and /or public services

Whenever any excavation has to be undertaken, adequate prior consideration should be


given to:

i. Soil conditions that will be met


ii. Method of excavation to be used and
iii. Manner in which any necessary support will be provided
iv. Excavation must be inspected regularly to ensure safety of people working inside it and
identify any deficiencies. If any deficiency is observed, then it should be reported to immediate
supervisor and rectified immediately

Page 1 of 14
Document ID No: MSSM-1-SF-001
Power & Water Utility Company for
Rev. No.: 0
Jubail and Yanbu (MARAFIQ) Valid Until : November 12 2010

MARAFIQ SAFETY MANUAL

7.1 DEFINITIONS
Batter or Rake
Artificial and uniform steep slope given to an excavation

Benching
Method of protecting personnel from cave-ins caused by
excavation to form one or series of horizontal levels or steps,
usually with vertical or near vertical surfaces between levels.
Cave-in
Separation of mass of soil or rock material from the side of an
excavation or its support system.

Excavation
A digging operation performed by man or machine
Examples: cut, cavity, trench, pit, tunnel or depression in an
earth surface, formed by earth removal.

Excavator
Mobile or stationary machine with a hydraulically operated
bucket attached to its boom to excavate or dig the ground.

Sheeting
The members of a shoring system that retain the earth in
position and in turn are supported by other members of the
shoring system.
Steel Sheet piling
Process by which steel sheets being interlocked and driven to
the required depth before starting digging operation.
Shoring
A structure either metal or timber, hydraulic or mechanical
that supports the sides of an excavation and which is
designed to prevent cave-ins or collapse.
Sloping
Method of protecting personnel from cave-in by forming the
sides of an excavation inclined away from the excavation.

Page 2 of 14
Document ID No: MSSM-1-SF-001
Power & Water Utility Company for
Rev. No.: 0
Jubail and Yanbu (MARAFIQ) Valid Until : November 12 2010

MARAFIQ SAFETY MANUAL

Spoil
Loose soil or rocks excavated manually or by machine from
the ground.

Timbering
Any form of support work, whatever is the material used.

Trench
A type of excavation with a depth greater than the width

Trench shield
A fabricated moveable structure made of steel plates welded
to a heavy steel frame

Page 3 of 14
Document ID No: MSSM-1-SF-001
Power & Water Utility Company for
Rev. No.: 0
Jubail and Yanbu (MARAFIQ) Valid Until : November 12 2010

MARAFIQ SAFETY MANUAL

7.2 PREPLANNING THE EXCAVATION WORK


7.2.1 Excavation Hazards & Risks

Prior to carrying out excavations, Risk should be assessed


associated against following hazards:

Materials and equipment falling on to people working


in excavation
People falling into the excavation
People getting buried in excavated material due
collapse of sides or falling debris
People drowning due to ingress of water
Destabilizing adjacent structures due to cracks in soil
Damage to underground or surface utilities
Utility contact
Hazardous atmosphere

Page 4 of 14
Document ID No: MSSM-1-SF-001
Power & Water Utility Company for
Rev. No.: 0
Jubail and Yanbu (MARAFIQ) Valid Until : November 12 2010

MARAFIQ SAFETY MANUAL

7.2.2 DOCUMENTS REQUIRED

Prior to undertaking any excavations deeper than 15 cm, following documents should be completed

Excavation Work Request duly approved with comments by Engineering Technical


Services disciplines - Electrical, Civil, Mechanical and Instrumentation with plan of the
proposed excavation and drawings of the underground utilities
Isolation Certificate, where required
Risk Assessment, if significant risks exist. It should be reviewed by Marafiq Coordinating
Department & Safety Section and approved by Operations Department /Area Owner
Permit to Work Certificate a MUST

No excavation should be carried out without Excavation Work Request and Permit to Work
Certificate.

7.2.3 Marking of Excavation Area

Area to be excavated should be marked correctly using either using


flag post labels or pegs and rope line or chalk powder before
commencing digging.

7.2.4 Soil condition


Soil condition of the area to be excavated should be judged for
deciding on shoring methods.

7.2.5 Temporary support(s)

Temporary support(s) required must be planned and approved by


Civil Engineer and stated on the Excavation Work Request

7.2.6 Underground and surface utilities


Underground and surface utilities (water, gas, electricity, sewer, etc,)
should be identified referring plant in built - drawings or scanning
for electrical cables

Page 5 of 14
Document ID No: MSSM-1-SF-001
Power & Water Utility Company for
Rev. No.: 0
Jubail and Yanbu (MARAFIQ) Valid Until : November 12 2010

MARAFIQ SAFETY MANUAL

7.2.7 Determining the proposed excavation as confined space

Whether the proposed excavation is a confined space or not should be


justified. If yes, confined space safety precautions should be applied.
Following conditions should be satisfied for determining the excavation
as confined space:

i. Depth of excavation more than 1.3 meters


ii. The space is inherent with confined space risks exist such as:
atmospheric hazards of oxygen deficiency, toxicity,
flammability exist and
Physical hazards of drowning or engulfment.

7.2.8 Sources of energy and surface utilities


All sources of energy of underground and surface utilities should be
identified and isolated

7.3 Method of Excavation should be chosen for adoption


Manual excavation should be performed using hand tools such as
spade or shovel when the buried underground services exist
(irrespective live or dead buried services).
Manual excavation should be continued till the buried services
are exposed and made free from risks.

Any exposed electrical line should be protected from accidental


contact.

Page 6 of 14
Document ID No: MSSM-1-SF-001
Power & Water Utility Company for
Rev. No.: 0
Jubail and Yanbu (MARAFIQ) Valid Until : November 12 2010

MARAFIQ SAFETY MANUAL

No sharp tools or machine should be used for digging the area where
buried services exist.

Machine excavation should be performed only when there are no


buried services.
If depth of buried services is known and confirmed through relevant
documents or other methods such as scanning, and if there is no other
alternative than machine excavation, then it should be done under
continuous vigilance of supervisor in order to avoid damage to
underground services.

7.4 SPECIFIC SAFETY PRECAUTIONS


7.4.1 LIMITED ZONE

A limited zone should be established and marked around the excavation with posting of safety signs
i. diverting the traffic and
ii. allowing only essential equipment near the edges of excavation and other controlled equipment
& material inside limited zone

7.4.2 ENCUMBRANCES

All safety precautions must be taken against the following encumbrances which could create a
hazardous surcharge load on the sides of an open cut trench or excavation and could cause it to cave-
in injuring or killing those inside:


Spoil close to the edges of excavation
Pipelines carrying hazardous gases or liquids
Sources of vibration due to operation or movement of machineries
Failure of trench box and/or other protective systems, or parts thereof
Underground utilities contact and damage

Water table and water accumulation
Electrical buried cable
Geological abnormalities

Page 7 of 14
Document ID No: MSSM-1-SF-001
Power & Water Utility Company for
Rev. No.: 0
Jubail and Yanbu (MARAFIQ) Valid Until : November 12 2010

MARAFIQ SAFETY MANUAL

7.4.3 COMMUNICATION

All persons involved in excavation job should be informed of


the hazards, consequences and precautions to be taken.

7.4.4 WATER ACCUMULATION


If the water table is exposed, dewatering
should be done continuously to stop the
water from entering the excavation or
minimize the flooding
Competent person should monitor the
dewatering operations
Special support timbering or shield systems
should be installed to protect from cave-in
Employees should not be allowed to work in
excavations if there is accumulated or
rapidly flowing water
Where there is chance of flooding water,
persons should wear safety harness with
lifeline.

7.4.5 PREVENTION OF SIDECOLLAPSE

The sides of excavation shall be protected from collapse by


means of shoring methods such as

Sloping and battering


Benching
Supporting with trench and pile sheeting or
Combination of above

7.4.6 Sloping and battering of sides


The sides of excavation should be sloped and battered at an
angle of 45 degrees.

Page 8 of 14
Document ID No: MSSM-1-SF-001
Power & Water Utility Company for
Rev. No.: 0
Jubail and Yanbu (MARAFIQ) Valid Until : November 12 2010

MARAFIQ SAFETY MANUAL

Employees should not be permitted to work on the faces of


sloped excavation at levels above other employees.

7.4.7 Benching of sides

Benching should be 1m horizontal to 1.0 m to vertical

7.4.8 Supporting Systems

Personnel fixing supporting systems should be:


Competent
Observed under continuous supervision
Protected from dangers of cave-ins, structural collapses
or from being struck by members of the support system
by applying additional precautions alerted to evacuate for
any safety deviations

Support system should be:


Installed in close coordination with the progress of
excavation and removed in coordination with backfilling.
Prevented from sliding, falling or other predictable failures
by securing firmly individual members protected from
loads exceeding designed load.

7.4.9 MATERIALS & EQUIPMENT


Employees should be protected from falling or rolling
loose material or machine from an excavation face
Sides of excavation should be scaled off to remove
loose material

Spoil (excavated soil heaps) should be placed at least 1


meter away from the edge of excavation outside the
barriers.

Page 9 of 14
Document ID No: MSSM-1-SF-001
Power & Water Utility Company for
Rev. No.: 0
Jubail and Yanbu (MARAFIQ) Valid Until : November 12 2010

MARAFIQ SAFETY MANUAL

Employees should be kept away from any vehicle being


loaded or unloaded to avoid being struck by moving
bucket of the mobile hydraulic excavator or any spillage
or materials falling off the bucket
No employee should be permitted underneath loads
handled by lifting or digging equipment or within its
sweep area.

Operators must remain in the cabs of vehicles being


loaded or unloaded when the vehicles are equipped with
cabin roof and dump body protection over cabin roof.

Machine and vehicles should be parked at least one


meter away from the edges of excavation and ensured
ground is strong enough to bear the load of the machine
or vehicles.

No machine should be parked or kept at the edge of the


excavation.

Robust wheel buffers or stoppers should be provided


to prevent vehicle from moving accidentally and falling
into excavation

7.4.10 STANDBY ATTENDANT (SPOTTER)

Standby attendant (Spotter) with reflecting vest should be


posted to direct the movement of traffic vehicles.

Page 10 of 14
Document ID No: MSSM-1-SF-001
Power & Water Utility Company for
Rev. No.: 0
Jubail and Yanbu (MARAFIQ) Valid Until : November 12 2010

MARAFIQ SAFETY MANUAL

7.4.11 BARRIERS

Hard barriers should be placed 1.0 meter away from the edge
of the excavation to prevent:

Fall of persons into excavation


Mobile equipment like excavators, cranes, tipping
vehicles, etc. from maneuvering too close to the edge of
the excavation and endangering its stability leading to
collapse

Beacon flashing traffic lamps should be hung on the


barriers to warn drivers of excavation.

7.4.12 Safety signs

Safety signs should be installed to warn people of excavation


hazards

7.4.13 MEANS OF ACCESS

Safe means of access to and from excavations


must be provided, as well as an accessible
means of escape in an emergency.

Page 11 of 14
Document ID No: MSSM-1-SF-001
Power & Water Utility Company for
Rev. No.: 0
Jubail and Yanbu (MARAFIQ) Valid Until : November 12 2010

MARAFIQ SAFETY MANUAL

Means of access should be provided by means


of ladders or scaffolds

7.4.14 GANGWAYS
Gangways (Temporary cross over bridges) with proper platform,
guardrails and toe boards should be provided to cross over
excavations or trenches from one side to other.

7.4.15 UNDERGROUND INSTALLATIONS


While the excavation is open, underground installations shall be
protected, supported or removed as necessary to safeguard
employees from accidental contact.

7.4.16 EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLANS


Personnel should be trained in emergency response plan and
aware of actions to be taken in case of emergency.
The persons should be withdrawn from the excavation area in
case of following emergency situations
i) Possible cave-in
ii) Indications of failure of protective systems
iii) Hazardous atmospheres or other hazardous conditions

Page 12 of 14
Document ID No: MSSM-1-SF-001
Power & Water Utility Company for
Rev. No.: 0
Jubail and Yanbu (MARAFIQ) Valid Until : November 12 2010

MARAFIQ SAFETY MANUAL

The evacuated employees should not resume work until the


necessary precautions have been taken to ensure their safety.
The Contractor Site Supervisor should inform the Authorized
permit Receiver/Issuer immediately of the circumstances.

7.4.17 INSPECTIONS AND MAINTENANCE


Authorized Permit Receiver or the supervisor should
make daily inspections of excavations, the adjacent
areas and protection systems to rectify any of the
following defects, if observed: according to the checklist

Page 13 of 14
Document ID No: MSSM-1-SF-001
Power & Water Utility Company for
Rev. No.: 0
Jubail and Yanbu (MARAFIQ) Valid Until : November 12 2010

MARAFIQ SAFETY MANUAL

EXCAVATION SAFETY INSPECTION CHECKLIST

To be checked by Authorized Permit Issuer before starting job in excavated area and every day

Sr. Description of item Yes No


1. Permit to Work Certificate Issued
2 Excavation Work Request Completed
3 Spoil (excavated material) Kept 1 meter away from edges, not falling
4 Barriers installed outside the spoil 1 meter away from edges
5 Shoring benched / sloped / trench sheeted to prevent collapse of sides
6 Access / Ladder Provided
7 Emergency Escape provided
8 Buried Services cables / pipes etc Protected from damage
9 Dewatering satisfactory
10 Gas testing done, if it is a confined space
11 Emergency rescue arrangement Arranged
12 Cross over bridge provided with proper platform, toe boards and guardrails
13 Beacon flashing lamps installed on sides to control traffic during nights
14 Safety sign boards installed to warn traffic and people
15 Information to employees Given on hazards and safety precautions
16 Timber shrinkage due to drying, deterioration, dislodging, loose wedges,
etc identified &rectified
17 Soil movement due to drying, leakage behind sheeting identified &
rectified
18 Housekeeping -satisfactory
General condition - Satisfactory / Not satisfactory

Comments:-

Authorized Permit Receiver / Supervisor

Name:

Signature:

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