Excavation, the removal of soil or rock to form a hole or cavity, is inherently dangerous. The associated risks include:

  • Exposure to essential services (above and below ground)
  • Workers becoming trapped by collapsed earth
  • Exposure to airborne contaminants 
  • Falls
  • Injury from falling objects or materials

To help promote safe excavation in Australia, each State and Territory has an excavation code of practice. There is also the Dial Before You Dig (DBYD) initiative – a free national referral service designed to prevent damage to Australia’s infrastructure network and keep workers and the general public safe. 

Promoting Excavation Safety

Dial Before You Dig promotes itself as “the essential first step in any safe excavation.” While there is WHS legislation in place across all states, Dial Before You Dig offers a single point of contact to access information about multiple infrastructure networks at any given site. In other words, it is a quick and easy way to protect your workers and prevent damage without having to contact each utility company separately. 

As a completely free service, Dial Before You Dig is available to everyone from large excavation companies, to homeowners and landscapers. The service has been designed this way so there’s nothing to stop anyone from lodging a free enquiry before they begin digging. Landscapers, underground network maintenance workers, councils, farmers, contractors, builders and plumbers are all on DBYD’s client list. 

What Information Does Dial Before You Dig Provide?

Every excavation project has the potential to damage assets and injure people. There are also financial losses to consider. For example, your construction company could face fines, be responsible for repair costs as well as suffer project delays and increased insurance premiums. 

Proper planning and preparation is key to any successful construction project. And before any excavation begins, a call should be made to DBYD so you can access information about the presence and location of any infrastructure assets. The exact location won’t be specified, so excavation still needs to be carried out with great care. Any information that is not clear, or any discrepancies, should be clarified with the asset owner.

You can read more about the risks associated with excavation work and how to achieve the required work, health and safety standards in the Excavation HSEQ Operational Procedure from TasNetworks.

UTE Earthmoving is an experienced excavation company based in Southern Tasmania. We prioritise safety on every job, big or small. Talk to us about your next dig!