Civil Construction and Safety

Civil Construction - 05/03/2018

Here at BWC Civil, safety on all of our work sites is of the utmost importance. This is something that is made abundantly clear when we learn about some of the accidents that take place on civil construction sites. One such example of this is the excavator accident that was reported by the Civil Contractors Federation.

The Incident

An earthworks contractor was working at a building site in Perth preparing a block of land for infill residential work. While undertaking this task, a high voltage (HV) cable was severed. Luckily, no one was injured in the incident, however, it did cause a power outage that affected 2000 Western Power customers. As such, this incident put not only on-site workers at risk, it also came at a great financial cost and impacted a number of Western Australian businesses and homeowners.

How Could the Incident Have Been Avoided?

When undertaking any excavation work, workers should always undertake a Dial Before You Dig (DBYD) enquiry. In the above case, this enquiry would have confirmed the location of the cable, and prevented it from being severed. The worker in question claims he never received a DBYD form from the on-site administration staff and didn’t realise that he would have to do it himself.

At BWC Civil, we always endeavour to tick every administrative box before any work commences, and we equip all staff with the information they need. Some of the steps we follow, which are recommended by DBYD, include:

  • Lodge a DBYD enquiry at least two days before any excavation work commences. Careful planning is the most straightforward way to prevent any accidents, both ones that put people’s safety at risk, as well as ones that slow down productivity.
  • Follow any advice listed on the asset owner’s plan or information pack, to ensure all staff knows where any underground infrastructure is located.
  • Any underground infrastructure should also be made visible by erecting barriers, marking the exposed infrastructure’s location, or, at the very least making sure everyone on site knows exactly where it is.

As well as the above steps, the actual excavator operator should also follow a set of prescribed steps to avoid any accidents or mistakes. These include:

  • Checking to see if someone has already lodged a DBYD form, and if it hasn’t been done already, lodge it ASAP.
  • Viewing the information contained in the DBYD, ensuring they’ve identified any underground services.
  • Taken whatever measures are required to ensure any risks are managed.

Any mistakes made on an excavation site can be costly, slow down project works and put people’s safety at risk. When working with BWC Civil, you can rest assured the efficiency of your project will be in good hands. Need assistance with a civil construction project? Reach out to us today!

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