What causes Injuries in the Excavation Industry and how to prevent them.

According to global statistics, the construction industry is one of the three sectors where occupational risks are three times more likely to end up in death and two times likely to end in injury than any other occupations. The danger further intensifies if you are in the excavation department.

The CDC has stated that excavation and trenching are some of the most dangerous construction jobs that you can do. About 100 workers are killed annually, and about a thousand are injured from accidents that occurred during excavation and trenching.

These hazards make the workplace stressful for construction workers. They always have to look over their shoulders, so they do not get injured or killed.

Here are the most common ways people get injured in the excavation industry in the United States of America:

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Electrocutions are a widespread work hazard in the excavation industry. Electrocutions are responsible for 8.6 percent of all excavation injuries. A lot of the tools used in this line of work are powered by electricity. It is not uncommon for workers to mistakenly come in contact with a loose wire or faulty equipment.


Cave-ins are also very common in this line of work. There are almost no survivors when this particular type of accident occurs. Cave-ins occur when trenches that are being worked on are not well protected. As a result, workers are buried alive under pounds and pounds of sand, immediately burying them alive.

Asphyxiation from Lack of Oxygen:

In some cases, construction workers go so deep underground that they reach a place where there is low oxygen. Sometimes, workers get trapped underground. They may survive for a few hours, but low oxygen levels can cause them to die from asphyxiation.  

Inhalation of Toxic fumes:

This happens when workers are trapped underground in spaces where there is low oxygen. It is different from death by asphyxiation because it isn’t the lack of oxygen that kills the worker. It is the presence of toxic fumes that do


There are cases when, after digging for a while, workers reach a large body of water underground. It is not uncommon for some people to drown to death.

Misuse of Power Tools:

Lack of skills on the part of the workers has caused the fatal injuries of some workers and the death of many others. Workers who have no technical knowledge of the tools that they have to operate can quickly kill and maim other people.



Falls are the most common hazards in the workplace. They cost workers and organizations about 70 billion dollars in medical costs yearly. It is not different for folks in the excavation industry. It is known to be the cause of about 38 percent of all workplace injuries in the excavation industry.

Safety Tips

Now that we know some of the things that cause injuries in the excavation industry, we can now look at a few things workers in this industry can do to prevent these injuries from happening.

  • Before you start to work on your shift, do some stretching exercises. This will prevent you from having workplace injuries.
  • Do not carry heavy objects when climbing
  • Always wear protective equipment when working
  • Learn how to use the tools you need before you go on to use them on site
  • To prevent falls, always be mindful of where you are walking to
  • Always make walking areas clear at all times
  • Try as much as possible to avoid areas where work is being done overhead.
  • Never remove your hard hat from your head when you are on site
  • When working at a suspended height, make sure that fall protection is provided
  • Before your shift begins, make sure that all your personal fall arrest systems are in excellent condition
  • Take frequent breaks during your shifts
  • Always use your legs to lift objects by bending your knees
  • When you are working around vehicles or machinery, make sure the operators can clearly see you
  • Only allow authorized personnel to operate vehicles and machinery
  • Block off areas where heavy machinery is being used.


Workplace hazards will always exist no matter what industry you work in. However, you must learn how to keep yourself safe.