Title Page

  • Client / Site

  • Location
  • Conducted on

  • Prepared by

List hazards on site

  • Details

Excavation Safety Discussion

  • Some key Definitions:

    Competent Person means one who is capable of identifying existing and
    predictable hazards in the surroundings, or working conditions which are unsanitary,
    hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt
    corrective measures to eliminate them.

    Protective System means a method of protecting employees from cave-ins, from
    material that could fall or roll from an excavation face or into an excavation, or from
    the collapse of adjacent structures. Protective systems include support systems,
    sloping and benching systems, shield systems, and other systems that provide the
    necessary protection.

    Registered Professional Engineer means a person who is registered as a
    professional engineer in the state where the work is to be performed. However, a
    professional engineer, registered in any state is deemed to be a “registered
    professional engineer” within the meaning of this standard when approving designs
    for “manufactured protective systems” or “tabulated data” to be used in interstate

    Support System means a structure such as underpinning, bracing, or shoring,
    which provides support to an adjacent structure, underground installation, or the
    sides of an excavation.

    Tabulated Data means tables and charts approved by a registered professional
    engineer and used to design and construct a protective system.
    Trench (Trench excavation) means a narrow excavation (in relation to its length)
    made below the surface of the ground. In general, the depth is greater than the
    width, but the width of a trench (measured at the bottom) is not greater than 15

    Factors to consider before starting an excavation project:

    1. Traffic
    2. Proximity and physical condition of nearby structures
    3. Soil classification
    4. Surface and groundwater
    5. Location of the water table
    6. Overhead and underground utilities
    7. Weather
    8. Quantity of protective systems that may required
    9. Fall protection needs
    10. Number of ladders that may be needed

    Excavation and trenching are one of the most hazardous work operations. To protect workers from injuries and fatalities, preventive measures should be implemented when workers begin excavating:

    1. Inspect trenches daily before work begins. Don’t go near an unprotected trench.
    2. Check weather conditions before work, be mindful of rain and storms.
    3. Keep heavy equipment away from trench edges.
    4. Be mindful of the location of utilities underground.
    5. Always wear proper protective equipment.
    6. Don’t work beneath raised loads.
    7. Conduct atmosphere tests. If low oxygen and toxic gases were detected, workers must not enter the trench.
    8. Protective systems like benching, sloping, shoring and shielding must be created.
    9. Planning and implementation of safety measures must be done by a competent person.

Follow Up Questions

  • Do all employees fully understand hazards and the preventive measures before commencing to an excavation project?

  • Are there factors which can affect safety and health of workers?

  • Are there any incidents and physical injuries while doing excavation works?

  • Are there any accidents due to not wearing proper PPE during work?

  • Does anyone experience any concurrent health conditions which need to be addressed immediately?

  • Are there any other concerns?


  • Competent Person (Full Name and Signature)

  • By signing this, you confirm that the information discussed during this meeting were fully understood.

  • Click + to add signee who participated during the toolbox talk meeting

  • Signee
  • Full Name and Signature

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