A Refresher Guide to Staying Safe on the Job

Access March 2023 Newsletter and please be sure to submit your near misses!

For many reading this article you might think this is just another safety topic.  Been there,… read that.  Which may be true. However this is a refresher for your memory as to what is required on excavations during work.  Often we get in a hurry, and skip some aspects of the excavation process.  Below we have attached a quick checklist for you to download and use on your projects.  A couple of quick videos to watch to help bring home some subtle safety points we may overlook.

Excavation work can be dangerous if proper safety precautions are not taken. Workers can be at risk of cave-ins, falls, electrocution, and other hazards. That's why it's important to follow safety guidelines and use the appropriate protective equipment when working in or around excavations. Here are some tips for staying safe on the job:

  • Conduct a site assessment: Before beginning work, assess the site for potential hazards. Identify any underground utilities or other hazards that could pose a danger to workers.
  • Have a competent person oversee the work: A competent person is someone who is trained and knowledgeable about excavation safety. This person should be responsible for overseeing the work and ensuring that all safety procedures are being followed.
  • Use protective equipment: All workers on the job site should be equipped with the appropriate protective gear, including hard hats, eye and ear protection, and steel-toed boots.
    Avoid overhead hazards: Stay clear of overhead power lines and other hazards that could fall onto the excavation.
  • Protect against cave-ins: Use sloping, shoring, or shielding to protect against cave-ins. Always remember to enter and exit excavations using a safe means of egress.
  • Excavation deeper than 20' requires a professional engineer to design a protective system.
  • Often, the client will require the excavation operator to be trained as competent person as well.

Sample Excavation Checklist:

Use the attached checklist to ensure that you have taken all necessary precautions before starting excavation work:

  • Have all utilities been located and marked?
    Has a trained competent person conducted a site assessment?
  • Is the excavation properly sloped, shored, or shielded to prevent cave-ins?
  • Is there a safe means of access & egress from the excavation every 25' of lateral travel?
  • Is there access and egress on both sides of the pipe?
  • Is the spoil pile properly located 2' or more away from the leading edge of the ditch?
  • Are workers wearing the appropriate protective equipment?
  • Have workers been trained in excavation safety?
    Has equipment operator been trained to build a proper bell hole?
  • Is there a plan in place for responding to emergencies?
  • Are overhead hazards properly identified and avoided?
  • Are barricades and warning signs in place to keep unauthorized persons out of the excavation?
    Did you check for hazardous atmospheres within the ditch?
  • Is there standing water in the ditch?
  • Workers kept clear of overhead power lines and a gas line was properly marked and avoided during excavation.

These are just some of the tasks needed prior to having your workers entering the excavation.  Below is an attached sample excavation checklist.

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Houston, TX – October 21, 2022 – Perennial Environmental Services, LLC. (“Perennial”), a subsidiary of Eagle Infrastructure Services, Inc., today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Brian F. Smith & Associates, Inc. (“BFSA”).  Perennial, headquartered in Houston, TX, is a leading provider of environmental consulting services that focuses on biological and archaeological surveys and studies required for compliance with NEPA and other federal, state, and local environmental regulations.  Since 2003, their team of skilled professionals has provided a broad spectrum of environmental consulting services to clients, primarily in the energy and infrastructure sectors, throughout the United States.  
BFSA is an SB/SBPW-certified environmental services management firm headquartered in Poway, California.  Since 1977, BFSA has provided consulting services to public and private clients for archaeological, paleontological, and historical projects throughout the western United States.  Their staff is the largest continuously operational cultural resource team in California and they have successfully completed thousands of cultural and historic resource management projects involving CEQA, SEPA, and NEPA level compliance for a wide range of projects, including residential development, commercial development, and infrastructure projects.

Dennis J. Woods, President and CEO of Eagle Infrastructure Services, and Jonathan Fredland, President of Perennial Environmental Services, respectively, stated, “BFSA’s core offering of environmental services to the Western United States and its commitment to excellence and integrity closely mirrors that of our whole Eagle Infrastructure Services Organization. We are excited to grow our company and are pleased to continue offering experienced, highly qualified environmental services to the wide variety of markets that we serve. We are joined by our employee base in welcoming BFSA’s employees to the family and look forward to continuing to serve BFSA’s loyal customers.”

”BFSA’s founders, Brian and Kathy Smith, have built a company with an unmatched reputation for cultural and paleontological consulting services in southern California.  From the time I’ve spent with the Smith’s and other members of their team, I’ve learned that BFSA has similar people and values to those at Perennial.  The decades of experience that the BFSA principals, senior staff, and directors will bring to the Perennial team will be a tremendous addition to Perennial’s capabilities.  Not only will the acquisition expand Perennial’s geographic footprint, combining staff resources, skills, and experience will allow our firm to offer expanded services to new and existing clients throughout the country.  Additionally, employees in Texas and California will see opportunities for career development by becoming part of a coast-to-coast organization.  I am excited about the future of our organization and firmly believe that the acquisition will benefit our current and newly acquired employees as well as allow us to better serve our customers.”
Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

About Eagle Infrastructure Services, Inc.  
Eagle Infrastructure Services, Inc. is a leading provider of third-party inspection, integrity management, civil survey, mapping, GIS, environmental, qualification testing, right of way, and nondestructive examination auditing services to the Oil, Liquids, & Natural Gas, Power Transmission, Transportation / Infrastructure, Public Utilities, Telecommunication, and Renewable Energy Industries. Eagle Infrastructure Services, Inc. provides the most experienced, qualified, and highest integrity technical and project management resources in the industry. Supplying timely, high-quality, cost-effective services in the safest manner is our top priority. Eagle Infrastructure Services, Inc. has completed 57, 170 projects and served over 700 clients. For more information, please visit Eagle Infrastructure Services, Inc.

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Access the Perennial December 2022 Newsletter and please be sure to submit your near misses!

Events are happening every day at facilities throughout the US that employers are not aware of. These events are close calls where something occurs and almost causes an accident, injury, property damage, or could have caused fatality. Another term for the close call is a “near miss.”

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Eagle Infrastructure Services Compliance Website is available for all employees and contractors of its subsidiary companies. The company provides this compliance website and hotline to allow employees and contractors to report concerns regarding: workplace safety;  compliance with laws, rules and regulations; the workplace environment; and compliance with policies and procedures. The compliance website and hotline are managed by a third-party who does not have information regarding payroll, benefits, job assignments or other similar job-specific information. You may choose to remain anonymous in any report to the third-party administrator. For additional information, you may also visit the FAQ section.