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Introduction to this document

Safety briefing - safety in excavations

This briefing addresses the key risks and control measures needed to manage safe working in excavations.

What’s covered?

The aim of this Safety Briefing - Safety in Excavations is to ensure that all staff are fully aware of the potential risks from such work.

Hazards and risks

The briefing identifies the hazards and risks including failing to ensure that the sides of the excavation are suitably supported, failing to manage excavators properly and not protecting the excavation.


Control measures include supporting excavations with timber, providing guardrails and using stop blocks.

Key points

Attendees must take note of the following key points:


  • Always ensure that excavations are adequately supported.
  • Ensure guardrails are provided to prevent pedestrians and other staff from falling into the excavation.
  • Ensure that heavy machinery is kept away from excavation edges.
  • All staff should be aware of any buried services.
  • Stop work and contact the supervisor if an excavation appears to be unsafe.