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Introduction to this document

Daily excavations form

Guidance issued by the HSE suggests that excavations should be inspected each shift before work starts and the results recorded. You can use our template to record your findings.

Site details

You should use the first part of the form to identify the “Site details”. This should include the site address and a brief description of the workplace, the name and address of person on whose behalf the inspection was carried out and the date and time of inspection. Part two of the document, “Matters which give rise to any health and safety risks”, provides space to record any significant issues that may present risks to staff working in or near the excavation, for example, unsupported sides leading to the possibility of collapse, presence of excessive water in the bottom of the trench etc.

What to do?

If you’ve identified a problem, the next section, “Decision on continuing with the work”, asks you to decide whether the risks are significant enough that work should stop immediately. If the answer is “No”, then we ask you to include the name of the person to whom the matter has been referred. In most cases this will be the principal contractor in charge of the work or the site manager.

Action to be taken

The next two sections deal with any action that is recommended as a result of a “No” answer. Here you should include any actions that should be taken to ensure that the excavation is safe to work in. You’re asked to include details of any further action that may be necessary.

Who did what and when?

The final part of our document asks you to provide the name and position of the person making the report, the date and time the report was handed over and the details of who it was handed to.