General Safety Considerations in Foundation Drilling
Hazard assessment and analysis is essential before starting a drilling and geotechnical project. Aside from the possible instability on and under the ground, the weight of people, trucks and equipment as well as their movement and vibration might result in a catastrophe if there were no safety precautions in place.
General safety considerations
Although safety gear is a must in construction and drilling sites, it’s still crucial to focus on the site conditions in the first place. This way, any catastrophe would be prevented and we wouldn’t rely fully on those safety gear.
When assessing the site conditions, it can start with geotechnical assessments as well as hazard analysis in and around the area. Engineers and technicians also anticipate future movements in the area such as trucks and auger equipment coming in. Also, they put productivity and safety measures in place to guide the workers. For example, the area should be properly illuminated if there are evening drilling activities. It also helps to ensure cleanliness in walkways and work areas to prevent slips, falls and trips. Job sites can quickly get cluttered and messy, which can lead to obstructions and hazards for both workers and drilling equipment.
Because of the nature of foundation drilling (where holes are drilled into the ground), there’s always a risk of falls. As a result, day and night the team should be protected from falling hazards by installing covers, perimeters and fall arrest systems such as full body harnesses. Countless movements happen in the job site which increases the possibility of something going wrong even if there’s no drilling activity occurring in the area.
Other safety measures often include the use of anchorage (e.g. where lifelines and platforms can be securely attached) and restricted access zones (limited to workers who perform necessary tasks in that area around the drilled hole). There could be additional safety measures depending on the site conditions, the nature of the task and the hazards present in and around the job site. This focus and commitment to safety is crucial not just in preventing delays but also in protecting human lives.