Excavations are recognized as one of the most hazardous operations in the construction industry. Excavation cave-ins can cause serious and often fatal injuries to employees. In addition to the hazards related to cave-ins, excavations are of particular concern on campus due to the University’s complex underground utility infrastructure. OSHA places very strict regulations governing the design of an excavation, cave-in prevention methods, and employee training. Cornell employees working in or around excavations need to be knowledgeable of safety requirements.
Requirements for all excavations include:
- An underground utility survey must be conducted prior to the start of any excavation. Call 811, or visit call811.com.
- Ticket can also be submitted online in New York State by visiting udigny.org.
- All employees working in an excavation must receive initial training.
A competent person must be clearly identified for all excavations. This person must be knowledgeable in assessing soil conditions, the use of protective systems, and OSHA requirements.