Safety should be your top priority when it comes to digging. At Master Locators, we prioritize excavation safety through our “Take Five for Safety” initiative that requires our technicians to ensure the job site and our people are operating in a safe manner.

What are the Major Types of Excavation Hazards in Construction?


There are many hazards related to digging near utilities – ranging from personal injury to site destruction – especially when you do not know where the utilities are located. Some common injuries from striking utilities include burns, lacerations, and electric shock. Furthermore, damaging the utility can cause fires, floods, toxic gas leaks and more, which can lead to serious injury or even death.

Unsafe practices, damaged utility lines and injuries on a job site can result in OSHA investigations and staggering monetary damages. If unsafe practices are exhibited, OSHA can conduct an investigation that can add time to your project or shut it down completely. There are also many costs associated with damaging utilities. According to the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the average repair cost for striking a utility was estimated to be $4,700 in 2016. This cost does not include any potential lawsuits, property damage, evacuations, road closures, environmental impacts, injuries or fatalities that may have occurred. In the event that any of these scenarios occur, it would have a detrimental effect on a company, potentially costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to remedy the situation.

Excavation Safety

How Do You Work Safely in Excavation?


First, consider your own safety. Be sure to conduct routine safety checks and proper safety training before digging at a site. After you make sure you are following all safety procedures, you must consider the safety of others – both on-site and in the neighboring area. The same safety hazards that apply to you, also apply to additional workers, pedestrians and vehicles on the job site. It is also worthwhile to understand the effect the utility work could have on people in nearby houses or buildings as they could potentially lose communication, power or water depending on the utility being serviced.

At Master Locators, we implemented a “Take 5 for Safety” initiative into our daily operations where our technicians take five minutes before each shift to ensure the job site and workers are operating in a safe manner. Our technicians assess their surroundings and identify any potential hazards during this time. In addition to our “Take 5 for Safety” program, we have provided extensive OSHA approved and in-house safety programs in order to equip our technicians with the necessary guidance to safely perform our services.

What is a good Experience Modification Rate (EMR) score?


Experience Modification Rate, or EMR, is a rating system that is treated similar to a company’s overall safety rating and is used by insurance companies to determine workers’ compensation. The EMR of a company is updated monthly and is adjusted for company size and industry. An EMR rating of 1.0 is considered the industry average.

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