6.01q Worksite and Construction Safety - Regulation

Document Type: Regulation
Number: 6.01q
Effective: 10-28-13
Legal References: I.G.S.H.S. 44,
I.D.A.P.A. 55- 2402
29 C.F.R.



The purpose of this regulation is to identify minimum safeguarding practices for pedestrians, motorists, and City employees who may enter work areas, where trenching and excavations or any other construction is occurring. It is not intended to provide guidance or instruction to contractors or vendors working for the City.

Proper work area protection shall be planned to ensure safety of the public, the worker(s), and the equipment. Safeguarding practices may include the use of equipment such as barriers, warning signs, lights, flags, traffic cones, barricade rope, flaggers, or any other necessary control measures to minimize hazards on approaches to work areas, excavations, open holes or equipment in the work area.


Each supervisor shall designate at least one employee as the Competent Person for each work site where construction activities are performed. The Competent Person shall:

A. Have the technical knowledge and experience necessary to complete the job satisfactorily and safely;
B. Be the person monitoring the construction activity;
C. Be responsible for identifying existing and potential hazards at the work site;
D. Have the authority to take prompt corrective actions, i.e. can stop work until the hazardous situation is corrected; and,
E. Obtain any required permits from appropriate agencies for road or lane closures including trenching and excavation operations.

All employees at the work site are to immediately report existing and potential hazards that they identify to the Competent Person on-site for correction. The supervisor may designate as many Competent Persons as they deem necessary for a work site.


When work must be performed in or near vehicle traffic, employees shall follow applicable temporary traffic control laws. All employees working within a roadway right-of-way shall wear high-visibility safety apparel and other safety related equipment. To determine the appropriate high-visibility apparel, departments are encouraged to contact Risk and Safety Services. Employees designated to control traffic through flagging shall be trained and certified as necessary to perform flagging operations in Idaho. Supervisors with employees who perform flagging operations should contact Risk and Safety Services to arrange for training.


No work shall take place within ten (10) feet of overhead lines until:

A. The utility operating the line near where the work will be performed has been notified; and
B. Safety precautions for the work have been identified and implemented by the Competent Person and the utility company. Safety precautions shall consider:

1. Coordination of work schedules;
2. Identification of temporary mechanical barriers to prevent contact with the lines;
3. Temporary de-energizing and grounding of the lines; and
4. Temporary raising or moving of lines.

To prevent accidental contact when work is not anticipated to occur within ten (10) feet of overhead lines, but due to location equipment could potentially contact overhead lines; equipment operators shall use other employees to guide the movement of equipment with hand signals or radio communication.

Metal ladders shall not be used when electric utilities are present.


An excavation Competent Person shall be on site for all trenching and excavating. The Competent Person shall ensure all excavations or trenches are adequately protected against accidental and unauthorized entry. Employees shall not enter any excavation or trench five (5) feet deep or deeper until it is appropriately protected from cave-in. Trenches less than five (5) feet deep must also be protected from cave-in if the Competent Person determines the excavation or trench shows potential signs of weakness or collapse. If excavations or trenches are anticipated to be twenty (20) feet or greater in depth, the protective system shall be designed by a registered professional engineer. Excavations less than five (5) feet shall still be examined by the Competent Person to ensure that there are no indications of a potential cave-in, and a protective system shall be used when there is any indication of a potential cave-in. See Exhibit 6.01qq for approved safe methods for protective systems.

A. Underground Utilities

Regardless of depth, prior to opening an excavation the Competent Person for the project or their designee shall call Digline at least two (2) business days in advance, to request the locations of underground utilities. If an emergency utility locate situation is necessary, the Competent Person or designee shall notify Digline as soon as possible to request an emergency locate service. If underground utilities are encountered during the excavation, hand digging shall be performed within two (2) feet of either side of the utility. Utilities left in place during an excavation shall be protected by barricades, shoring, suspension or other means as necessary to protect employees and avoid damage to the utilities. PLEASE NOTE: Location services expire 14 days from the date of the original locate service.

B. Open Trenches and Excavations

Trenches and excavations shall be isolated from public access by a substantial physical barrier (such as guardrails, fences or barricades) and installed prior to the start of the excavation. The public shall be detoured as necessary to prevent accidental entry into the trenching and excavation operation area.
When excavations are not backfilled at the end of the work day they shall be appropriately barricaded or covered with trench covers or sheeting. If traffic is anticipated the trench cover shall be strong enough to support the anticipated traffic.

C. Surface Encumbrances
All equipment, materials, supplies, buildings, roadways, trees, utility vaults, boulders, etc. shall be removed or supported as necessary to protect employees working in the excavation.

D. Access and Egress
Each trench or excavation that employees must enter shall be provided with a means of egress, either a ramp or a ladder, for employees to safely enter and exit the excavation. Ramps used for access of employees and equipment shall be designed and installed for the anticipated traffic and loads. Ladders shall:

1. Be located so that workers do not have to travel more than 25 feet laterally to get out of the excavation;
2. Extend 36” above the surface of the excavation; and
3. Be secured to prevent accidental falls.

Metal ladders shall not be used when electric utilities are present. Employees shall never jump or cross over excavations.

E. Other Required Safety Practices

1. Falling Loads: Employees shall not work or walk under raised loads at any time. Employees shall be protected from loads or objects falling from lifting or digging equipment.
2. Mobile Equipment: To prevent vehicles or mobile equipment from falling into an open excavation:

a. Barricades shall be installed where necessary
b. If the edge is obstructed from view employees shall use hand or mechanical signals: and
c. Stop logs should be installed and soil graded away from the excavation.

3. Confined Spaces: A trench may meet the definition of a confined space. Work in a designated confined space shall be performed in accordance with the Confined Space Entry and Operations Regulation.
4. Inspections: The Competent Person shall conduct and document inspections of excavations, adjacent areas, and protective systems (Exhibit 6.01qqq):

a. When employees can reasonably be anticipated to enter the excavation;
b. Prior to the start of work and as needed throughout the shift;
c. After every rainstorm or other naturally occurring events that could increase hazards (i.e. snowstorms, windstorms, thaw, earthquakes, any dramatic change in weather, etc.); and
d. When fissures, tension cracks, sloughing, undercutting, water seepage, bulging at the bottom or other similar conditions are present in or around the excavation.

5. Lifelines: Retractable lifelines shall be worn when employees enter bell- bottom pier holes, deep confined spaces, or other similar hazards.
6. Personal Protective Equipment: At a minimum, employees working on construction sites shall don a hard hat, eye protection and sturdy work boots. See the Personal Protective Equipment regulation for additional details.
7. Controlling Water: If employees are to work in excavations with standing or accumulating water the additional requirements shall be followed:

a. Special support or shield systems approved by a registered professional engineer are used;
b. Water removal equipment, such as well pointing, is used and monitored by the Competent Person;
c. Safety harnesses and lifelines are worn by employees who enter the excavation;
d. Employees are immediately removed from the excavation during rainstorms; and
e. Trenches are inspected by the Competent Person after each rain and before employees are permitted to re-enter the trench.

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