Excavations are required on the SUNY Geneseo campus for various reasons. Underground utility reconstruction or repair and digging for construction projects are not uncommon.
If no one is required to enter the excavation, the activity is relatively unregulated. However, if it becomes necessary for someone to enter the excavation to complete a utility repair or for any other reason, construction safety regulations specific to excavations apply.
These regulations are designed to prevent the collapse of the excavation walls. Soil is so heavy that such collapses typically result in the deaths of any persons buried or even partially buried when the walls collapse.
SUNY Geneseo soils meet the definition of OSHA Type C Soil. Of the three OSHA soil classifications, this soil has the least structural integrity and is most likely to collapse.
The following documents are required reading for any campus personnel involved in excavations.
Although they are aware of the dangers associated with entering an unsupported excavation, contractors do not always follow the construction safety requirements. All contractor violations of OSHA Excavation Requirements should be reported immediately to the Facilities Planning Office.