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Paving the Path for Oklahoma’s Expansions

Insurance for Excavation

CompSource Mutual has served Oklahoma businesses for more than 85 years. We know the risks associated with dirt work and offer our expertise to get you coverage that’s right for your business at a fair price.

Let us show you what it’s like to work with your neighbors in the red dirt state. Our Oklahoma-based team is ready to help you pave the path to a safer future. Get a Quote

Interested to learn more? Read on to get answers to common questions and concerns about workers’ comp in the excavation industry.

Types of excavation work

Excavation work can take place in a wide variety of environments, with many different types of ground material, equipment, and purposes. It is a catch-all term for any large-scale digging activity, which can range from residential excavation to trench digging.

Excavation work is necessary to our development as a society. Foundations must be dug for homes and commercial buildings; roadways need to be dug out and flattened; drainage areas need to be excavated for industrial purposes. There are many different types of machinery, systems, and safety protocols involved in excavation work. As such, excavation workers must have specific knowledge and qualifications to operate in their particular excavation specialty.

Excavation and dirt work are typically divided up by material or task. Common types of material excavation include: 

  • Topsoil
  • Rock
  • Muck

These categories are defined by the material the excavation workers are removing. For example, topsoil removal calls for very different equipment than rock removal. Each material type requires special equipment and varying levels of expertise. For example, digging through loose soil has a much higher risk of “cave-ins” (when the sides of the hole or trench fall in) than excavating into solid rock.

Excavation work can also be categorized by task type. For example:

  • Bridge
  • Trench
  • Drainage

The purpose of the excavation work defines these categories. For example, digging holes for bridge foundations is quite different than digging a drainage ditch next to a highway. In addition to these, there are many more types of excavation tasks.

Lastly, although excavation work is not usually defined by environment type, it is significantly impacted by it. Excavation work is affected by weather, terrain type, slope, neighborhood density, and many other factors. These all need to be taken into consideration when starting an excavation project.

Known risks in Excavation:
  • Falls from heavy equipment
  • Trench or hole collapse
  • Equipment overturn
  • Strikes by heavy equipment
  • Heat injuries
  • Head injuries

Because of the variety of circumstances and levels of risk associated with these different types of materials, tasks, and environments, it is essential that excavation companies carry insurance for excavation workers, especially an excavation workers’ compensation policy. Dirt work can be dangerous, and accidents do happen, so it is critical that excavation companies have workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.

Safety precautions for excavation workers

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers guidelines regarding trenching and excavation safety. These guidelines emphasize the importance of pre-project planning, safety systems, job site hazards, and workers’ rights regarding safety or PPE.

Most of the hazards for excavation workers are related to equipment use and environment type. One of the most significant concerns in an excavation project is the risk of a cave-in. Cave-ins can occur when the slope of the trench or hole is too steep, or when the sides are not adequately supported. Cave-ins should be taken seriously, as they can occur very suddenly and can result in death or serious bodily harm. According to OSHA, “One cubic yard of soil can weigh as much as a car.” When a cave-in happens, many cubic yards of soil can fall on top of a person. It is extremely important to take precautions prior to starting the excavation and make sure safety equipment is in place.

Another risk arises when the supervisor or workers lack a proper understanding of the soil or ground material they are excavating. In their guidelines, OSHA defines a specific soil classification system, as well as additional requirements for the “competent person” in charge of assessing the ground material, who should have the ability to:

  • classify soil
  • inspect protective systems
  • design structural ramps
  • monitor water removal equipment
  • conduct site inspections

The above list highlights the importance of having protective systems and strategic planning in place for excavation projects. The supervisor or employer must ensure that there are places to get in and out of the trench or hole (every 25 feet), supportive trench shields (needed above a certain depth), and sloping sides that align to proper excavation standards. Additionally, employers must frequently monitor their equipment and machinery and ensure that these systems are maintained. A harness with a lifeline does not properly protect workers if it is rusty or inoperable.

Accidents do happen, especially in an industry like excavation, where so many things can go wrong. This is why excavation companies should have workers’ comp insurance for excavation employees. This insurance supports the employee and protects the company in the event of a work-related accident, injury, or fatality. Insurance for excavation workers is one of the most important things a company can have to protect its employees.

Insurance for excavation companies and workers

Workers’ compensation insurance is one of the most impactful types of insurance a company can buy. When an employee files a claim for a work-related injury or illness, that employee is reimbursed for any relevant medical bills or missed wages. This can make a huge impact on your employee’s life and help support their timely return to work. In industries like excavation—which require workers to operate heavy machinery, work in harsh environments, and follow numerous safety standards—workers’ compensation insurance is an important way to help your employees feel taken care of and protected at the job site.

In addition to workers’ compensation insurance for excavation workers, excavation companies can also carry various types of business insurance to protect the company and its assets. Many companies carry liability insurance, property insurance, and equipment insurance.

Why CompSource Mutual

CompSource Mutual’s team offers unmatched industry expertise in Oklahoma workers’ compensation insurance for dirt work teams. We have served the Oklahoma business community for more than 85 years, and understand the needs of its people – business owners and workers alike. We can help you get the right plan for your business, including workers’ comp insurance for excavation companies. Get a personalized quote.

It is the employer’s responsibility to make sure their employees know how to file a workers’ compensation claim. Usually, the employee will need to file a claim with their employer who will help to submit it to the workers’ compensation company. Usually, the employee can contact the workers’ compensation company directly if questions arise. Injured workers covered under an employer’s CompSource Mutual policy can visit our Injured Workers page to learn more about covered benefits. 

At CompSource Mutual, we aim to make the claims process as easy as can be. Check out our comprehensive guide “How the Workers’ Comp Claims Process Works from A to Z” to learn more.

You will need to contact your workers’ compensation insurance company to obtain a certificate of coverage. They should be able to provide you with one.

If you’re a CompSource Mutual policyholder, you can request a copy here.

Yes, these are the same. A certificate of insurance is a document that shows the named insured’s coverage. It states the effective and expiration dates, the carrier, the policy number and certifies the insured had coverage at the time the certificate was issued. 

If you’re a CompSource Mutual policyholder, you can request a copy here.

Unfortunately, there is no way to completely prevent accidents, illnesses, and fatalities from happening at the workplace, but there are ways to make them less likely. Read up on the OSHA guidelines for your industry and familiarize yourself with them. Make sure a user-friendly version of these safety guidelines is posted and visible to your employees. Ensure that every employee has a safety handbook and knows it well.

CompSource Mutual policyholders also have access to a comprehensive library of safety resources and personalized advice. Learn more

Meet our Safety Team Image

Meet Our Safety Team

Are you committed to making your workplace safer? We’re here to make it easy for you. CompSource Mutual policyholders can get advice from our safety consultants and access personalized resources – it’s all absolutely free.

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