Safety And Precautions to Take When Digging
Whether you’re digging for an extension or a new deck, you can make your job more efficient and safer by learning a few smart tips. The most important tip is to call 811 before you dig so that utilities can mark the location of underground lines. This is a free and simple service that protects you, your family and your neighbors. Call a few days before you dig, and your utility company will send a locator to mark the approximate locations of underground pipes and cables.
Digging is a great way to improve your garden soil, and it can be done all year round. However it is most useful in the autumn as this allows the frosts to break up the soil. Before digging a bed it is best to add a top dressing of compost, manure or organic matter. This will help to aerate the soil and improve it for root penetration. Adding organic matter to the soil before you dig will also increase the amount of nutrients that can be found in the soil. This will help your plants grow better and produce more fruit and flowers.
Whether you’re digging for landscaping, construction or just digging around your home, you need the right equipment. This can make a big difference in the success of your project. A square shovel is a good tool for digging in hard-packed soil or moving dirt, gravel, mulch or sand. They have flat tips and squared sides that produce smooth trench walls. Trenchers are designed for digging trenches for laying pipes, drainage and cables. They can dig to greater depths and are suitable for all types of terrain. Drain spades have rounded tips and curved sides for scooping debris from a trench. They also work well for shaping the trench after excavation. Pick mattocks have a head with a pickaxe on one side and a chiselled blade on the other. They are excellent for breaking up rocky or hard surfaces and can chop roots. Pinch bars are long crowbars with a smaller blade that can be used for levering and prying. They are great for digging in soft or hard soil and can be used to break up rocks and concrete.
Safety Measures To Take
Trenching and excavations can be dangerous, especially when the job involves a deeper trench. Soil can be unstable, and workers need protective systems to prevent collapses or cave-ins that can cause serious injury or death. Protective systems include sloping, benching or shoring. These systems keep soil from falling into the trench, protecting workers from being crushed or buried by a collapsing wall. A cave-in is the most common reason for worker injuries and fatalities in excavation work, according to OSHA. The agency’s priority goal is to reduce these injuries and deaths by ensuring all workers are protected from collapse.
Reasons To Call 811
Regardless of the size of your project, call 811 a few days before digging to have underground pipes, wires and equipment located and marked. This keeps people safe and avoids damage to buried lines that provide gas, electricity, water and sewage, communications and other essential services. Every six minutes, a buried utility line is damaged because someone digs without calling 811. Hitting a buried line can disrupt critical service for you or your neighbors, cause expensive repairs, and result in costly fines. That’s why a free request to 811 is the first step in any digging project, no matter how small. That includes planting a flower bed, putting in a mailbox or installing a fence.