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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‚Äôs 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
    • Ticket can also be submitted online in New York State by visiting
  • 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.


Daily Trenching/Excavation Log Protected Document