Is Your Contracting Business Digging into Danger?

Whenever you break ground on a job site, you may not always know what you are getting into. The soil or the groundwater might be a problem, in addition to anything that is buried there. With these tips, you will know the potential risks you can encounter on the job site, as well as a few ideas for finding them before you start digging.

Soil Quality
Before you start construction, it’s common to hire a professional to test the quality of the soil. In essence, you have to make sure that the soil has the ability to sustain the building that you’re working on. This involves attention to a variety of aspects, including:

If the soil is not in the right condition to support the building, you may have to make a few changes before you can start. Otherwise, you run the risk of building a structure that is more likely to collapse or flood.

Soil Contamination
While soil quality is one issue, the potential for contamination is another. Once you start digging, you may release damaging elements into the air or water nearby. Although some land is more likely to contain natural sources of potentially toxic things like radon, contamination can also pose a risk. For your safety and the safety of the people who will live or work in the building, it’s important to test for toxins. The types of toxins that you test for depends on the land, and you may have to hire an expert to help you determine which tests to conduct.

Buried Lines
Cutting into a utility line is a common problem for any construction field that involves digging. It can also be seriously hazardous, especially if you are digging into electrical wiring, natural gas, or a sewer line. In most cases, you can ask the local utilities to help you identify if any lines are existing on the property. You can also invest in equipment that can detect the presence of certain equipment underground so that you can reduce your risk.

Historical Sites
Not everything that you find while excavating is a hazard, but you should take care of them nonetheless. On occasion, construction businesses will realize that they have uncovered a historical site that may need careful excavation before construction can continue. For example, construction in California sometimes reveals indigenous burial sites. In the interest of the community, it is important to take these discoveries seriously, and ensure that the proper authorities get information about them. That way, they can manage the situation in a way that is respectful and as efficient as possible.

Other Hazards
Of course, once you’ve dealt with the things that are likely to cause serious harm, you still have a number of possible hazards to deal with. People often underestimate the problems that can be caused by building a structure too close to a mature tree with an established root structure. And yet, tree roots disrupt utility lines, plumbing lines, and foundations all the time. Doing research into the hazards you can expect on the lot can give you an advanced opportunity to plan around them. You’ll be less likely to encounter unexpected delays that way.

Being sure of what you’re doing before you dig is a vital part of certain construction fields. So is the right training. For help in getting ready for the contractor licensing exam, contact CSLS today!