Safe Practices Checklist

A designated competent person at the excavation site understands visual and manual test methods, use of protective systems, the hazards of excavation work, and the requirements of regulatory excavation standards.

A designated competent person inspects the excavation, adjacent areas, and protective systems daily before work begins, as necessary throughout the shift, and after rain or other conditions that could increase the risk of a hazard.

A designated competent person has authority to immediately correct hazards and to order employees to leave the excavation until the hazards have been corrected.

Sewer, telephone, fuel, electric, or water lines near the site have been located and clearly marked.

Hard hats are required whenever there are overhead hazards.

Debris and other unnecessary material have been cleared from the site.

Excavations at remote sites have appropriate warning barriers.

Employees who are exposed to vehicle traffic are provided with and wear high-visibility garments.

Employees are protected from loose rock or soil that could fall into the excavation.

Employees are prohibited from working or standing under suspended loads.

Employees are required to stand away from vehicles that are being loaded or unloaded.

Employees are prohibited from working on the faces of sloped or benched excavations when other employees are below them.

Mobile equipment operators have an effective way of knowing when they are too close to the edge of an excavation. Examples include barricades, hand or mechanical signals, stop logs, or grading away from the excavation.

Walkways that cross over excavations more that six feet deep have standard guard rails and toe boards.

Spoils, equipment, and tools are at least two feet from the edge of the excavation.

Underground installations are protected, supported, or removed when the excavation is open.

Excavations that have a depth of four feet or more have ladders or other means of safe access within 25 feet of employees.

Ladders are secured and extend three feet above edge of the excavation.

A designated competent person designs the structural ramps that employees use to enter and exit the excavation.

Structural ramps have nonslip surfaces.

Employees are prohibited from entering an excavation that shows signs of water accumulation unless they are protected from the risk of a cave-in.

A competent person monitors the methods used to control water from accumulating in an excavation.

Surface water or runoff is diverted away from the excavation.

The atmosphere in an excavation is tested when the possibility of a hazardous atmosphere exists.

Employees are protected from hazardous atmospheres or atmospheres containing less than 19.5 percent oxygen.

Emergency rescue equipment is available when hazardous atmospheres could exist in an excavation.

Employees who work in excavations are trained to use appropriate personal protective equipment.

A designated competent person has classified soil at the excavation site with at least one manual test and one visual test.

Materials and equipment used for protective systems at the excavation site are chosen based upon soil analysis, excavation depth, and expected loads.

Materials and equipment used for protective systems are inspected regularly and in good condition.

Damaged equipment is removed from service immediately.

Protective systems are installed without exposing employees to the risk of cave-ins.

Structures, roadways, and sidewalks adjacent to the excavation are adequately supported.

Excavations are backfilled when protective systems are removed.

Appropriate sloping, shoring, or shielding protects employees who work in excavations five or more feet deep.

A designated competent person determines the type of shield used at a site by considering factors such as the nature of the work, excavation dimensions, soil characteristics, and equipment used to lower or position the shield.

Employees in excavations more than 20 feet deep are protected by a system designed by a registered professional engineer.

Shields are installed so that they do not move laterally.

Employees are not allowed in shields that are moved vertically.


Full Name and Signature of Inspector