Our Bradenton construction lawyers are all too familiar with construction site accidents including the violations that come with them. We want to equip you with helpful safety tips to keep your crew safe. Now that you are more familiar with some of the hazards associated with performing excavation work and some best practices to improve safety as mentioned in part one. We will talk about the importance of communication before and while you are digging.
Before You Dig
Land must be prepared by a skilled contractor before digging activities begin. It takes great skill and restraint to clear land and prevent damage to surrounding lines. Properly trained excavation workers and the use of appropriate equipment and excavation procedures is critical for workers’ safety. Create and follow a pre-excavation checklist. Be sure to follow the Sunshine 811 law regarding underground facility damage and prevention which is outlined in Chapter 556 of the Florida Statutes. You must call 811 before digging to ensure public utilities are marked. The Sunshine 811 Damage Prevention Guide is an excellent for resource excavators and member operators.
Communicate Before You Excavate
Communication is essential for those working in excavation where utility damage prevention is concerned. Remember to:
- Dial 811: As previously mentioned, dialing 811 and communicating with the one-call center is the responsibility of the excavator. Damaging (as well as removal or destruction of flags or markings) a pipeline while excavating can warrant a civil lawsuit. This will require the expertise of a Bradenton construction lawyer. A civil lawsuit can be filed seeking damages against an excavator who fails to follow excavation procedures prescribed in Florida Statute, Chapter 556.
- Document Your Agreements: When communicating with line locators, always document your agreements and follow all procedures as required.
- Ensure Those You Work With Understand the Law: Not only should you understand excavation laws, those you contract with should as well. This will lessen the likelihood that damage occurs by someone on your team.
- If Damage Occurs: Do not ignore damage by continuing to work or leaving the damage unattended. Report damage and near misses to the owner or dial 811.
A rush to complete excavation should never be an excuse to do your due diligence. Proper project planning should take into consideration the need to contact 811 before digging. Remember lives, as well as underground facilities, are on the line when pipelines are damaged.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.