Excavation, trenching, shaft sinking and tunnelling operations can be very dangerous. In Saskatchewan, inattention to safety during these activities has caused serious worker injuries and deaths. The Saskatchewan Employment Act (the Act) requires employers and contractors to take extensive precautions to protect workers engaged in these activities.
The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996 contain the regulated safety standards for excavations, excavated shafts, trenches and tunnels. In addition, employers and contractors should consult municipal and city bylaws for the area where they are working. The public should be warned about any applicable hazards that could reasonably be expected to occur during an excavation project.
The Excavating and Trenching Safely Guide is a resource for employers and contractors. It provides information to help prevent harmful incidents to workers when excavating.