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Ground Disturbance & Excavation Procedure

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27/03/2012
Ground Disturbance & Excavation Procedure

Ground Disturbance & Excavation Procedure


ROO-ALL-HS-PRO-0025

Revision History

Revision
Date Brief description of change Prepared Checked Approved
number
01 07/04/12 For client review and adjustment RC RS
02 20/04/12 QA Review RS
03 23/04/12 New document format RS
04 24/04/12 Client changes RS
05 03/05/12 Terminology update RS
Detailed review and update to
06 05/09/14 AB LA/LM
include Line Detection activities
07 10/03/15 CoW Review AB JM/RG
08 13/08/16 Complete CoW review and LA JM/RG LJ
update on mechanical and non-
mechanical excavations
09 25/12/16 Change in terminology from Non- CS JM/RG RE
Mechanical / Mechanical to Type 1
and Type 2 Excavations.
10 20/03/17 Change to requirement for Line RG/JM KC/WB LJ/RE
Detection for all GD activities Digitally signed
by
Digitally signed by Kallie Calitz
louis.jacobs@uk
Chris Digitally signed by Chris Slabbert
DN: cn=Chris Slabbert, o=ROO,
ou=Operations HSE,
DN: cn=Kallie Calitz, o=Land
Manager, ou=ROO Infrastructure
Projects - Land Management,
.bp.com
DN:
Slabbert
email=chris.slabbert@roobasra.com,
email=ROOIPLM@roobasra.com,
c=IQ
Date: 2017.04.10 08:29:10 +03'00' c=IQ cn=louis.jacobs
Date: 2017.04.10 08:34:41 +03'00'
@uk.bp.com
Date:
2017.04.10
15:40:47 +03'00'

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Table of Contents
1.0 Introduction ............................................................................................................ 4
1.1 Purpose .................................................................................................................................... 4
1.2 Summary .................................................................................................................................. 4
1.3 Application................................................................................................................................ 6
1.4 References, Abbreviations and Definitions .............................................................................. 6
2.0 Roles & Responsibilities ....................................................................................... 9
2.1 Site Controller (SC) .................................................................................................................. 9
2.2 Area Authority (AA) .................................................................................................................. 9
2.3 Authorised Gas Tester AGT) ................................................................................................. 10
2.4 Authorised Line Detector (ALD) ............................................................................................. 10
2.5 Performing Authority (PA) ...................................................................................................... 10
3.0 Planning and Preparation .................................................................................... 11
3.1 Line Locating and Marking the Area ..................................................................................................... 11
3.2 Signatures and Permit Issuance ........................................................................................................... 11
3.3 Excavation – Hazard Identification & Task Risk Assessment............................................................... 11
3.4 Excavation – Work Method Statement................................................................................................... 12
4.0 Carrying out Excavations .................................................................................... 13
4.1 Excavating with Hand Tools ................................................................................................... 13
4.2 Excavating with Hand-held Power Tools ............................................................................... 13
4.3 Excavating with Mechanical Excavators ................................................................................ 14
4.4 Persons Entering and Working in an Excavation ................................................................... 14
4.5 Excavation Confined Space ................................................................................................... 15
4.6 Excavated Materials – Contamination ................................................................................... 17
4.7 Backfilling Excavations .......................................................................................................... 17
Appendix 1 - Simplified Excavation Flow Charts ...................................................................... 18
Valid Line Locate Survey Report EXISTS.................................................................................................... 18
Valid Line Locate Survey has not been carried out ..................................................................................... 19
Appendix 2 - Checklist for Entering an Excavation Confined Space ...................................... 20
Appendix 3 – Soil Types and Soil Testing................................................................................. 21
Appendix 4 – Protective System Requirements ....................................................................... 25

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1.0 Introduction
1.1 Purpose
This procedure defines the minimum acceptable standards and requirements that must be followed
when authorising and conducting any ground disturbance activity which, if not controlled correctly,
could cause harm to personnel, damage to underground services, or have an environmental
impact.

This procedure follows Best International Petroleum Industry Practice and has been produced in
sufficient detail so that all parties can make a consistent approach to excavations at all ROO
operating sites. The procedure provides guidance in the following areas

 Identifying and managing the hazards of ground disturbance


 Planning the work safely
 Detecting, identifying and marking underground services
 Safe excavation digging practices
 Roles and responsibilities.

1.2 Summary

 All ground disturbance activities shall be robustly planned by competent and


authorised persons.
 Work scopes for ground disturbance shall be clearly defined and documented in
method statements and Permits to Work (PTW). Relevant plans, mapping and
previous sub-surface scans should be referred to during the planning process.
 An Unexploded Ordance (UXO) Land Release Certificate (LRC) for the area to be
excavated is required in all cases from ROO Land Management to confirm all areas
are free from UXO.
 Before any ground disturbance work begins, a Line Locate survey (sub-surface
scan) using either Cable Avoidance Tools (CAT) or Ground Penetrating Radar
(GPR) is required to be carried out by a competent person, known as the
Authorised Line Detector (ALD).
 A Risk Assessed Procedure (RAP) is required to carry out a Line Locate Survey.
Subsequent excavation activities require a PTW, HITRA and Excavation Certificate.
A copy of the completed line locate survey shall be attached to the permit.
 Underground services that have been detected whether previously known or
unknown shall be identified and clearly marked prior to the commencement of work.
The position of the underground service(s) in the proposed work area shall be
pinpointed as accurately as possible.
 All Line Locate Surveys that have been completed will be submitted to the Land
Management Team for entry into the Rumaila Geographical Information System
(GIS).
 Line Locate Equipment (CAT and GPR) have working and operational limitations by
design. It is the responsibility of the Authorised Line Detector to know and
understand the limitations of the equipment being used when conducting the Line
Locate Survey, and inform the Site Controller, Performing Authority and Area
Authority of these limitations when discussing the results of the survey.

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NOTE: If a current survey exists for the area which needs to be excavated, it can be
reproduced as evidence that a Line Locate Survey has taken place and the Site
Controller and Area Authority confirm that the scanned area has had no
underground services added to that area since the date of the survey. If any doubt
exists that the sub-surace area to be excavated is different to the results of the
current line locate survey then the area to be excavated should be re-surveyed
using line locate equipment.

 The use of flags, pegs or spray paint to mark areas will be used; blue flags are used
to mark perimeter of area to be scanned and yellow flags for identifying the location
of “pings” of possible underground services.
 The status of all identified underground services (e.g live, pressurised, not in
service etc.,) should be established before excavation takes place and recorded on
the Method Sztatement and HITRA. Where reasonably practicable all underground
services shall be disconnected, isolated or depressurised prior to excavation
activities. All underground services must be assumed to be live until proven safe.
 A Permit to Work and HITRA shall be raised and authoirsed prior to any excavation
activities commencing.
 An approved Method Statement detailing how the work will be undertaken safely
shall be completed prior to ground disturbance activities commencing and made
known to all relevant persons involved in the work.
 A competent supervisor shall be present at all times when ground disturbance is
taking place. The supervisior shall ensure all agreed controls identified in the HITRA
and PTW for managing ground disturbance safely are followed.
 All underground services that have been detected shall be visually identified to
confirm actual location, type of service and depth by using hand digging tools or
air/water vacuum excavation techniques only.
 All those working to expose underground services or dig excavations must be
competent to do so. They should have had sufficient information, instruction and
training to understand the risks from damaging underground services. They should
also practice safe excavation techniques and understand the value of hand digging
and the risks from using power tools or mechanical excavators in close proximity to
underground services.
 No mechanical excavation shall take place closer than 0.5m to any existing
underground services.
 Different excavations and soil types will require an assessment of the excavation
techniques, controls and barriers. Underground services are to be temporarily
supported as necessary.
 If an underground service is unexpectedly located during the excavation, treat as
live until proven otherwise, stop work and inform the Area Authority and Site
Controller.

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1.3 Application
Ground disturbance is one of ROO’s Golden Rules of Safety and states:

Work that involves a manmade cut, cavity, trench or depression formed by earth removal,
boring or driving piles into the ground cannot proceed unless:
 All potential underground hazards have been identified, located and if necessary
isolated.
 A Permit to Work has been authorised, issued and accepted.
 Ground movement has been controlled and collapse prevented by systematic
shoring, sloping, benching etc, as appropriate.
 Ground and environmental conditions are monitored for change.
 Unauthorised access is prevented.
 A confined space entry certificate is issued if the excavation meets the definition of
a confined space entry.

This procedure covers all work activities involving ground disturbance such as:
 Trenching
 Soil boring
 Pipeline installation
 Foundations construction
 Well pad and flare pit construction
 Access roads construction
 Bunds/berms construction
 Facility construction
 Flowline construction
 Environmental remediation activities

1.4 References, Abbreviations and Definitions


1.4.1 Related Documents & Abbreviations
The following documents are also related to excavations and should be referred to prior to
any excavation activity where deemed necessary.

Document number Title of procedure


ROO-ALL-HS-PRO-0001 Control of Work Manual
ROO-ALL-HS-PRO-0010 Confined Space Entry Procedure
ROO-ALL-HS-PRO-0046 Land Clearance Procedure
ROO-ALL-HS-PRO-0040 ROO Operations Electrical Safety Rules
ROO-ALL-HS-PRO-0007 Gas Test Procedure
ROO-ALL-HS-PRO-0163 Risk Assessed Procedure
ROO-ALL-HS-PRO-0055 Working at Heights Procedure
ROO-Wells-WO-GDL-027 Wellsite Utility & Services Detection & Communication
Procedure

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2014 HSG 47 Avoiding Danger from Underground Services, Health
& Safety Executive, UK

The following abbreviations are used throughout this procedure.


Abbreviation Explanation
SC Site Controller
AA Area Authority
ALD Authorised Line Detector
OAA Outside Area Authority
CC Control of Work Coordinator
PA Performing Authority
SSS Site Safety Supervisor
CoW Control of Work
HITRA Hazard Identification and Task Risk Assessment
PTW Permit to Work
RAP Risk Assessed Procedure
ALARP As Low as Reasonably Practicable
SIMOPS Simultaneous Operations
GPR Ground Penetrating Radar
CAT Cable Avoidance Tool
LLS Line Locate Survey

1.4.2 Definitions
The following ground disturbance and excavation definitions are used in this procedure:

1.4.2.1 Ground Disturbance


Any man-made cut, cavity, trench or depression made into the surface of the ground
formed by soil and/or material removal. Any construction activity where the natural ground
level is raised by means of importing fill materials and there is the potential to bury or
damage buried utility installations, for example well pad constriction and access road
construction.

1.4.2.1 Authorised Line Detector (ALD)


A person(s) who through training and qualification is deemed competent to operate and
undertake a Line Locate Survey, and use line detection equipment to locate buried
underground services prior to ground disturbance activities commencing. The Authorised
Line Detector must be authorised witin the ROO and listed on the ROO Authorised Line
Detector List held by ROO Land Management.

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1.4.2.2 Cave-In (trench collapse)
The separation of a mass of material, soil or rock, from the side of an excavation, or the
loss of soil from under a trench shield or support system could result in a cave-in. Its
sudden movement into the excavation, either by falling or sliding, has the potential to trap,
bury, injure or immobilize a person.

1.4.2.3 Confined Space


A confined space within this procedure is defined as a fully or partially enclosed space
which may have limited access and egress, where there is a risk of serious injury or harm
from hazardous substances or conditions within the confined space, or similar conditions
from nearby activities.
An excavation is typically considered to be a confined space when it is greater than 1.2
metres below ground level and there is a requirement for personnel to enter the confined
space to conduct work activities. However, not every excavation or enclosed space is a
confined space. For example, an excavation in an open area away from hydrocarbon
facilities/sources with profiled sides and a ramped entry point can be classified as a normal
working area.

1.4.2.4 Line Locate Survey


Line Locate Survey is the process of locating, identifying and marking underground
services and utlilites that are buried within the Rumaila Field. Examples include pipelines,
flowlines, electric cables, communication and network cables, fibre optics, gas lines, water
lines, sewer or waste water pipes.
Equipment used to detect underground services in ROO are:
1) Cable Avoidance Tools (CAT)
2) Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)

1.4.2.1 Potholing
Using a safe means of digging typically with hand digging tools or using water / air
vacuum equipment to make holes in the ground that confirms the exact location, depth,
orientation, size and type of a underground service. Pothoing can also be referred to as
trial holing or trial digging.

1.4.2.2 Surcharge Loads


A surcharge load is anything that will increase the horizontal stress on a trench support
system. Examples include stock piling equipment or excavation material close to the
trench, or heavy vehicles moving near the trench.

1.4.2.3 Underground Services


Any underground or buried installation, pipe, utility line which may be encountered during
ground disturbance activities (e.g underground tanks, pipelines, flowlines, electric cables,
communication cables, gas lines, water lines).

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2.0 Roles & Responsibilities


The roles defined in this procedure correspond to the relevant roles and responsibilities
used in the ROO CoW system, WorkSafe.

2.1 Site Controller (SC)


The Site Controller has overall responsibility for control of work at site and for validating
the permits that will control ground disturnbance activities, including all supporting
documents and specifically the Hazard Identification and Task Risk Assessment (HITRA),
Land Release Certificate (LRC) and Excavation Certificate.
For all excavations the Site Controller shall ensure a line locate survey has been
undertaken by an Approved Line Locator.

2.2 Area Authority (AA)


The Area Authority (AA) is responsible for:
 Ensuring that the people involved in ground disturbance have the necessary skills,
qualifications and experience.
 Ensuring a valid line locate survey(s) have been carried out before authorizing
excavation activities and all identified services have been identified by the PA.
 Approving the Permit(s) that will control ground disturbance activities including all
supporting documents and specifically the HITRA and LRC (provided by ROO Land
Management) and Excavation Certificate.
 Specifying any additional controls, restrictions or approvals that may be needed to
undertake the work safely.
 Visiting the worksite with the PA prior to authorising the PTW to make sure that the
work can be carried out safely and that all the hazards and associated controls
have been identified in the HITRA and confirming ALARP.
 Ensuring that the people carrying out the work are made aware and understand
Simultaneous Operations (SIMOPS) at the site and the agreed controls and
restrictions.
 Warning other people if they could be affected by the work and ensuring SIMOPS is
identified and risk assessed.
 Recognising and implementing confined space entry requirements when required.

The AA is responsible for authorising the work to commence at the worksite and in
consultation with the PA will confirm permit and excavation certification controls. This
includes approving any work to prepare the area and, once the task is finished, the work
needed to return the excavated area to its original state.

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2.3 Authorised Gas Tester AGT)
Authorised Gas Testers are persons who are trained and authorised to test for the presence of
flammable vapours, toxic gases and oxygen levels for the purposes of hot work and entry within
confined spaces. An Authorised Gas Tester is accountable for the correct calibration, use, and
recording of gas test results.

Authorised Gas Testers are responsible for:


 Performing gas tests including surveying in the correct places for the relevant gases
 Maintaining the integrity of the test equipment at all times
 The safety of themselves and others involved in the gas test
 The validity of the gas test
 Recording results on the Gas Test Certificate

The two levels of Authorised Gas Testers are:


 Level 1 Authorised Gas Testers authorised to test atmospheres for confined space entry
tasks and hot work tasks
 Level 2 Authorised Gas Testers authorised to test atmospheres for hot work tasks.

2.4 Authorised Line Detector (ALD)


Authorised Line Detector (ALD) is a competent person, who has been trained and is deemed
competent to perform Line Locate Survey (sub-surface scanning) activities at Rumaila using
approved line detection equipment. The list of approved ALDs is held by Land Management who
determine those competent and authorised to undertake line locate surveys in Rumaila.

2.5 Performing Authority (PA)


The Performing Authority (PA) is the person who will carry out and/or supervise the work. The PA
acts as the team leader and/or supervisor of the work and is responsible for the safety of their team
at the worksite. The PA is responsible for assuring authorised line detection has been completed
before excavation work is started. The PA ensures that the work stops immediately if there is an
unsafe act or condition observed, if there is an unplanned change in scope or if an emergency
alarm sounds.

The PA has the following responsibilities specific to ground distrubance:


 Inspecting the worksite with the assigned AA before work starts to ensure he physically
identifies with blue survey flags the boundaries of the area to be scan which includes the
are to be excavated. The area to be scanned should be a minimum of 1.5 metres outside
of the perimeter of the area to be excavated.
 Ensure that all marked “Pings” are exposed and investigated and all buried services are
completely exposed by hand digging or water/air vacuum equipment (Hydro-vac or Air
spade) prior to commencing excavation on site.
 Making inspections to check for situations that could result in a cave-in, a protective system
failing, or a dangerous atmosphere or condition arising during ground disturbance.
 Stopping the job whenever a dangerous condition develops that could put personnel in
danger; making sure personnel are removed from the dangers until the situation has been
corrected and proper precautions have been put in place.

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3.0 Planning and Preparation

3.1 Line Locating and Marking the Area


The total area to be excavated will be identified and marked by the work requestor prior to Line
Locate Survey being requested.

The Line Locate Survey will be carried out under the controls of a Risk Assessed Procedure (RAP)
using WorkSafe.

The ALD will survey this area and an additional 1.5 metre perimeter, this total area is known as the
Survey Area and will be demarcated using blue flags or markers.

During scanning of the Survey Area, the ALD will mark any identified potential buried services with
yellow flags and record the results on the Line Locate Survey. The ALD shall inform all relevant
persons of the results of the survey and also highlight any working limitations of the line locating
equipment used.

3.2 Signatures and Permit Issuance


For permit issuance, the ALD’s signature is required on the Line Locate Survey Report only. This
signature only confirms that the ALD has completed the scan of the identified survey area and is
the author of the survey.

If the PTW is being raised using a valid and signed Line Locate Survey previously issued for the
excavation site then there is no requirement for the ALD to re-sign the survey report or to be
present when the permit is raised and issued.

The PA will sign the Excavation Certificate to confirm that mandatory controls have been
completed which includes confirmation that a valid Line Locate Survey has been carried out, either
recently or previously, and the signed survey report is attached to the PTW.

3.3 Excavation – Hazard Identification & Task Risk Assessment


The Hazard Identification and Task Risk Assessment (HITRA) Team must include people with
specific knowledge and competencies of the work to be carried out. The Team should Identify all
the hazards associated with the excavation and evaluate the risks arising from those hazards.

HITRA Team members would include:


 Performing Authority
 Task Supervisor
 Area Authority
 Site Controller
 Site Safety Supervisor

Consideration should be given to the site location of the excavation and any of the following:

 Location and identity of underground services and their status e.g live, or pressurised.
Existing site plans, previous scans, GIS mapping and GPR registers should be referred to.

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 The requirement for underground services to be isolated
 Possible energy release
 The presence of H2S or hydrocarbon gas
 An oxygen deficient environment
 The presence of water, carbon monoxide or chemical substances
 Excavation depth and length
 Soil classification
 Surcharge loads
 Shoring, trenching, sloping, benching methods
 Climate conditions and how they effect the excavation
 Traffic and nearby structures
 Machinery striking pedestrians
 Excessive vibration
 Entry into the excavation
 Falling into an excavation
 Confined space entry criteria
 Access and egress routes
 Overhead power lines
 SIMOPS at site

3.4 Excavation – Work Method Statement


The Work Method Statement is produced by competent persons who understand and detail the
scope of the work to be completed, including the equipment and skills of the workforce that will be
used for the excavation. An Excavation Work Method Statement is prepared to assist the PA and
AA with the development of a HITRA and supports the Excavation Certificate which must be issued
with the Permit.

The PA with assistance from the AA will ensure that the excavation area is still marked in
accordance with the Line Locate Survey making sure there are no physical obstructions before
excavation work begins.

The following points should be considered when producing the Work Method Statement:
 Survey Area and Excavation boundaries (depth, length and width)
 Presence of any known or suspected underground services (e.g. pipelines, utilities or other
equipment)
 Land cleared of UXO with a Land Release Certificate (LRC) available
 Requirement for any shoring, sloping or benching
 Competence and specialist skills of people who will be carrying out the work
 Energy isolation requirements
 Description of the work
 Plant and equipment to be used.

The AA and PA review the Work Method Statement, work location, HITRA, and Permit to ensure
the work scope is clearly defined and that risk is mitigated to alow as is reasonably practicable.
The PA visually checks and confirms all of the precautions and restrictions with the AA, and seeks
any further approval that is required before the AA authorises the permit for the work to
commence.

Where specialised PPE and/or equipment is deemed to be necessary for the activity this will be
specified on the HITRA, and if required, on the Confined Space Entry Certificate.

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4.0 Carrying out Excavations
All those working to expose underground services or dig excavations must be competent to do so.
They should have had sufficient information, instruction and training to:

 Understand the risks to safety from damaging underground services; and,


 Practice safe excavation techniques and understand the value of hand digging and the
risks from using power tools or mechanical excavators.

When underground services are identified, trial holes (potholing) should be carried out using hand
tools or water/air vacuum equipment to locate and confirm the position and direction of the services
prior to the excavation of the work site.

In all cases banksman or spotters should be in place and remain vigilant for un-known buried
services as the dig progresses. The use of supports and/or protective cladding should be
considered when buried services or pipelines have been exposed

When there is any doubt about the identity of an exposed service, the PA must ensure that it is
treated as a live (energised or in-service). Consideration must always be given as to whether
pipelines and/or cables near the excavation area need to be isolated to make the work as safe as
reasonably practical.

It must be remembered that even if the line locate survey indicates that no underground services
are present a potential danger of striking an unidentified underground service still exists.

4.1 Excavating with Hand Tools


Hand tools are a common source of accidents if incorrectly used.
 If underground services are located by line locating equipment, hand tools or water/air
vacuum equipment shall be used to confirm or locate the identified underground service.
 Dig alongside the service rather than directly above it. Expose the surface by horizontal
digging to give more control over forces applied to handtools.
 Using rounded end shovels is preferred to using pick axes. Pry bars, spikes or forks are not
to be used.
 Extreme caution should be applied when using pick axes. Overforce (such as swing from
above the head or spiking) is prohibited. The point of a pick axe should only be used to free
lumps of stone or break hard layers and should not be used in soft clay or any other soft
solid near to buried cables.
 Soil beneath exposed services should be removed using hand tools or water/air vacuum
excavation equipment.

4.2 Excavating with Hand-held Power Tools


Hand held power tools can damage underground services and should be used with care until the
exact position of the service has been determined. They can be used to break a paved or concrete
surface.
 The use of hand held power tools (jack hammers, pneumatic drills etc) within 0.5m of
underground services is prohibited.
 Be cautious of over penetration when using hand powered tools
 Never use hand held power tools over a cable unless:

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 The cable has already been exposed by digging under the surface and it is at a safe
depth (at least 300mm) below the bottom of the hard surface material
 Physical precautions have been taken to prevent the tool from striking the cable
 Final exposure of the underground service by horizontal digging is recommended, as the
force of using hand-held power tools can be controlled more effectively.

4.3 Excavating with Mechanical Excavators


The following points give some general guidance only. Excavating with heavy plant & machinery
requires thorough planning and supervision as these machines are a common source of damage
to buried services

This procedure cannot detail all circumstances and safeguards required for mechanical excavation.
As previously stated all known underground services shall be clearly identified and isolated or
depressurised so far as is reasonably practicable. All work should be risk assessed and a method
statement approved. If any doubt regards safe excavation methods and safe proximity distances
to underground services remains then the ROO HSE Team should be consulted.

No mechanical excavation shall take place closer than 0.5m in any direction to any known live
pipelines, cables, or services. Use of mechanical excavation to within 0.5m is subject to an
approved detailed risk assessment.

Once the position of the pipeline has been proved by potholing, mechanical excavation may
proceed down to 0.5m from the top of the buried service/pipe, leaving the remainder to be removed
by hand tools or water/air vacuum equipment.

 Where possible, use tracked vehicles rather than wheeled equipment near the side of the
excavations to help spread the load and avoid compacting the soil.
 The use of heavy earth moving equipment (backhoe, excavators, etc) requires trained
operators and dedicated banksman for vehicle movements and a spotter to check for
underground services.
 Use excavators with bladed buckets (no teeth) when digging near pipelines or cables below
the surface.
 All personnel must stay clear of the operating radius of excavating equipment while it is in
use and should not enter into the excavation while mechanical digging operations are
ongoing.
 All spoil piles should be located a minimum of 1.5m away from the leading edge.
 Excavations shall be barricaded with warning signs to prevent unauthorised access.
 Any operation of excavation machinery near overhead powerlines should be risk assessed
for safe proximity working in accordance to the ROO Operations Electrical Safety Rules
(ROO-ALL-HS-PRO-0040).

4.4 Persons Entering and Working in an Excavation


Prior to anyone being permitted to enter an excavation the PA and AA must confirm that all the
requirements of the HITRA, excavation certificate and PTW have been witnessed and proven. The
PA must then brief the team during the Tool Box Talk ensuring that all hazards, controls and risks
are fully understood.

The PA shall confirm confirm the following:

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 The excavation is adequately sloped or benched or has a suitable protective system
in place.
 The excavation has securely fastened ladders (extended at least 1m above the
leading edge of the trench), ramps or stairs at intervals of no more than 7.5m to
allow personnel to enter and exit safely. There should be a minimum of two
locations to gain access and egress from the excavation.
 A Level 1 Authorised Gas Tester has tested all excavations that are deeper than
1.2m for oxygen deficiency (atmospheres containing less than 19.5% oxygen) and
for other atmospheric hazards.
 The excavated material (spoil) is kept at least 1.5m from the edge of the excavation.
 Persons are not permitted in the excavation while a trench shield is being moved, or
anywhere where moving the trench shield could affect their safety or the stability of
the excavation.
 Workers are not allowed to work on the face of a sloped or benched excavation,
above other personnel.
 No persons are allowed to enter or work in the excavation during mechanical
digging operations.

The AA makes a final inspection of the work site to ensure it is a safe place of work prior to
authorising the PA to commence work each day.

4.5 Excavation Confined Space


An excavation is typically considered to be a confined space when it is greater than 1.2 metres
below ground level and there is a requirement for personnel to enter the confined space to conduct
work activities. However, not every excavation or enclosed space is a confined space. For
example, an excavation in an open area away from hydrocarbon facilities/sources with profiled
sides and a ramped entry point can be classified as a normal working area.

The following criteria should be established for an excavation NOT to be classified a confined
space:
 No risk of atmospheric hazards either from surrounding area or from the task being
performed.
 The excavation does not require any form of process isolation before entry.
 No risk of engulfment from entry of solids or liquids into the excavation.
 Unrestricted safe means of access and egress for the work party and for rescue purposes.
 Excavation is benched or shored to reduce the risk of collapse.

The following should be considered during the HITRA preparation when planning to perform a
confined space entry into an excavation:
 The level of supervision required
 Requirements for warning signs and type of barriers
 Requirements for lighting
 Requirements for segregation, removal and transport of excavated material
 Atmospheric gas testing required prior to and during the work activity.
 Requirements for standby personnel & rescue team

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The HITRA, PTW, Confined Space Entry Certificate, Excavation Certificate and Gas Test
Certificate will be authorised with the prerequisite controls witnessed and proven before the AA
authorises entry into the excavation confined space.

The PA must ensure that a suitably trained standby person (entry attendant) is available to monitor
the excavation confined space whenever someone has made an entry. The PA must ensure that
entry records capture the names and times of all persons entering and exiting the confined space
and that only persons that are part of the work party, who have attended and signed the toolbox
talk are allowed to enter.

If the excavation confined space is left unattended, the entrance or access point must be
barricaded or secured to prevent anyone from entering without authorisation.

(See Appendix 3 – Checklist for entering an excavation confined space)

4.5.1 Emergency Rescue from Excavation Confined Space


The rescue plan should be site and task specific. It should be clear, uncomplicated and
communicated to all those involved in the confined space entry.

Prior to the commencement of any confined space excavation activities it shall be confirmed that a
rescue team will be present onsite throughout the activity. Rescue equipment and trained people
must be readily available for rescue purposes at all times when a person(s) is inside a confined
space excavation.

For the most part excavation confined space rescue plans will deal with the rescue of an
immobilised person within the excavation and the need to bring them to a safe level clear from
danger, this may be following a trench collapse, exposure to a release or impact with machinery.

It is for this reason that no ‘lone working’ is allowed. Although only one person may be working in
the excavation another worker(s) must always be available to immediately raise the alarm or
initiate the rescue plan.

When developing the rescue plan the following points should be considered:
 Is the method of rescue identified
 Rescue and medical equipment identified
 Are the rescue team trained and equipment certified
 How will the rescue plan been communicated to all people involved
 Method of raising the alarm, communication links with Site Controller and relevant
emergency contact details
 Adequate safe access for emergency personnel and appliances
 Roles and responsibilities understood
 Surrounding hazards on site and SIMOPS
 Rescue drills carried out prior to work commencing to highlight learnings or improvements

4.5.2 Excavation Confined Space – Gas Testing


Where an excavation has been deemed to be a confined space, the AA & PA must ensure that a
Level 1 Authorised Gas Tester (AGT) tests for oxygen deficiency/enrichment, flammability and
toxic atmospheres before entry into an excavation confined space. Continuous gas detection is a

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mandatory requirement of WorkSafe whilst personnel are working inside a confined space. It
should be remembered that H2S is heavier than air, toxic and flammable.

The AGT1 and AA must ensure that:


 Persons must enter the excavation confined space within one hour of the gas test being
conducted; otherwise the test must be repeated.
 Continuous gas detection is established and maintained throughout the confined space
entry.
 Workers understand that they must stop work and evacuate the confined space
immediately should an alarm sound.
 The confined space is retested by an AGT1 and that the continuous gas detection is
functionally tested and proven at the commencement of every shift
 If the presence of H2S is suspected or known then continuous gas monitoring for H2S must
be provided.

4.6 Excavated Materials – Contamination


If the PA discovers any oil or chemically contaminated soil during an excavation he must
immediately stop work and request assistance from the AA and the ROO Environmental Team.
The AA should contact the ROO Environmental Team and request their support in dealing with the
contaminated soil.

The PA must also ensure that any contaminated soil is covered and kept well away from
uncontaminated soil as far as practical.

4.7 Backfilling Excavations


The PA must give the AA adequate notice before backfilling the excavation to allow for an
appropriate inspection of worksite to be completed before backfilling commences. The PA must not
start to backfill the excavation without the AA’s permission.

The PA should carry out backfilling work in well-compacted layers in a way which prevents heavy
loads from passing over the services. The PA should initially overfill the trench to allow for the
ground settling.

The AA & PA must apply the following guidelines:

 The HITRA must identify backfilling as a step in the method statement before you start
any backfilling work
 The PA must remove all water from the excavation before you start any backfilling work
 If backfilling materials are required to be imported to the site then they must originate
from a ROO approved borrow pit and be UXO cleared.
 The PA shall always use paving tiles or other markers, such as marker tape, just below
the surface to indicate the presence of underground equipment and help avoid future
line strikes when excavating
 The PA must remove from the site all excavated materials that do not need to be put
back into the trench such as rock, welding rods, waste and all unwanted material, and
leave the site in a tidy condition

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Appendix 1 - Simplified Excavation Flow Charts
Valid Line Locate Survey Report EXISTS
The following flow chart illustrates a simplified process for planning an excavation where a Line
Locate Survey has previously been carried out and a valid Line Locate Survey Report EXISTS for
the area to be excavated.

Valid Line Locate Survey Report EXISTS

Re-mark the location of underground services at the excavation area

Obtain PTW and Excavation Certificate

Expose and locate the known underground services by hand digging or


using water/air vacuum equipment

Once the underground services are confirmed, continue to excavate with


tools of choice as per the Method Statement

Use signs and NO


barriers to prevent Are persons required to enter the excavation?
unauthorised access

YES

Provide adequate NO Are the excavation walls (sides) stable? Is the excavation appropriately
side protection benched, sloped, or trenched?

YES
Normal excavation NO
Is the excavation defined as a confined space?
entry conditions apply

YES
Confined Spaced
Confined space entry requirements to be applied to the activity Entry Certificate
required

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Valid Line Locate Survey has not been carried out
The following flow chart illustrates a simplified process for planning an excavation where a Line
Locate Survey has NOT been carried out in the area to be excavated.

Valid Line Locate Survey has not been carried out

Risk Assessed
Request a Line Locate Survey Procedure (RAP)
required

On completion of Line Locate Survey 1 signed copy is to be attached to


the PTW, another signed copy will be sent to ROO Land Management

If NO underground services are detected during the survey proceed with Obtain PTW and
safe digging practices as per the Method Statement Excavation Certificate

If underground services are detected during the survey, then the location
of the services are to be marked within the excavation area

Expose and locate the known underground services by hand digging or


using water/air vacuum equipment

Once the underground services are confirmed, continue to excavate


with tools of choice as per the Method Statement

Use signs and NO


barriers to prevent Are persons required to enter the excavation?
unauthorised access
YES

Provide adequate NO Are the excavation walls (sides) stable?


side protection Is the excavation appropriately benched, sloped, or trenched?

YES
Normal excavation NO
entry conditions apply Is the excavation defined as a confined space?

YES
Confined Spaced
Confined space entry requirements to be applied to the activity Entry Certificate
required

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Appendix 2 - Checklist for Entering an Excavation Confined
Space
No. Description Yes No N/A

Has a HITRA been carried out to assess the risk for entering the confined
1
space?

2 Is the confied space certificate attached to the Permit?

If required are isolations in place and an Isolation Confirmation Certificate


3
completed?
Has a rescue plan been produced and is all necessary rescue equipment
4
suitably positioned and readily available?

5 Are all rescue personal trained and have rescue drills been carried out?

6 Has a toolbox talk been held with all those involved in the operation?

Has gas testing / air monitoring been carried out to ensure safe
7
atmosphere within the excavation?
Has a gas test been performed before hot work? Is the Lower Explosive
8
Limit constantly monitored with suitable equipment and alarms?

9 Is intrinsically safe equipment being used if required?

Is the excavation clear from signs of subsidence, instability or significant


10
water ingress

11 Is there safe access and egress into excavation (steps, ladders, ramps)?

Have all tools or machinery required to be used in the excavation been


12
checked?
Is barricading suitably erected where required to prevent falling into the
13
excavation? Is unauthorised entry prevented?
Is there a minimum of 1m clearance of spoil piles equipment or materials
14 around all leading edges. Have all surcharge loads been identified?
(running plant that causes vibration should be 1.5m from leading edge)
Are precautions taken to control any vehicle traffic located near the
15
proximity of the excavation? Are banksmen/flagmen being used?

16 Are pipes or lines within the excavation adequately supported

Is sloping, benching, shoring and shielding system designed and installed


17
per requirements?
Is fall protection (e.g., guardrails) provided for walkways and bridges
18
crossing over excavations that are 1.2 metres deep or greater?
Is there a risk from overhead power lines? Has safe vertical working clearances
19
been established?

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Appendix 3 – Soil Types and Soil Testing


The method statement should specify which type of protective system to use:

 Sloping
 Benching
 Shoring
 Shielding

The PA records the type of protective system to be used on the HITRA.

Sloping and Benching


In general, slopes can be no steeper than 1½ horizontal to 1 vertical (34̊ measured from the
horizontal). For example, an excavation which is 2 metres deep would need to be set back 2.75
metres.

There are many types of sloping and benching techniques. Which type of protective systems are
used will depend on the location, soil strength, available equipment and type of work. Some
examples of the types of sloping and benching techniques are:

 Simple slope
 Simple bench
 Multiple bench
 Vertically sided lower portion

For sloping and benching, the following requirements apply:

 The sides or walls of an excavation or trench may be sloped, instead of using a shoring or
shielding systems, as long as the soil type has been properly classified using Table 1 below
and sloped accordingly.
 Sloped excavations which have vertically sided lower portions must be shielded or
supported to a height of at least 0.5 metres above the vertical sides
 Table 1 describes the soil types and minimum acceptable slope requirements for
excavations. You must test the soil type using visual and manual tests. If this is not
possible, assume the soil is type C soil with 1.5 to 1 slope (34)

Table 1: Acceptable slope requirements

Maximum
Soil type Description slope (horizontal
to vertical)
Solid
Does not apply Vertical (90̊)
rock
2
Strong soils, compressive strength greater than 14647 kgms/m clay or clay soils,
A hardpan and caliche (gravel, sand and nitrated).
0.75 to 1 (53̊)
2
Medium soils, strength greater than 488 kgms/m angular gravels and silty soils.
B Type A soil which had been disturbed, moved by vibration or is cracked.
1 to 1 (45̊)
2
Weak soils, strength less than or equal to 488 kgms/m gravel, sand and wet
C (seeping or submerged) soil.
1.5 to 1 (34̊)

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Sloping is a method of protecting employees from cave-ins by shaping the sides of an excavation
so they are sloping away from the excavation to prevent cave-ins. The acceptable angle of the
sides of an excavation needed to prevent a cave-in depends on the soil type, environmental
conditions and surcharge loads. This is also referred to as a sloping system (Figure 1).

Type A Soil
Simple Slope Excavation
Type B Soil
Simple Slope Excavation

6m Max 6m Max
1 1
0.75 to 1 1 to 1
3/4 (53) 1 (45)

Type C Soil
Simple Slope Excavation

6m Max
1
1.5 to 1
1/2 (34)

Figure 1: Example excavation sloping of Type A Soil Sloped 0.75 to 1 (53̊)

Benching is a way of protecting employees from cave-ins by shaping the sides of an excavation to
form one or more horizontal levels or steps, usually with vertical or near-vertical surfaces between
levels. Terracing or stepping the sides of an excavation helps to prevent a cave-in (Figure 2).

Type B Soil
1.2m Max Multiple Bench Excavation
(Permitted in cohesive soil only)

1.2m Max

6m Max 1.2m Max

1.2m Max
1
1 to 1
1 (45)
1.2m Max

Figure 2: Example of a Type B Soil multiple bench

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Shoring
Shoring (Figure 3) consists of a structure that supports the sides of an excavation and is designed
to prevent cave-ins. The structure can be made of metal or wood, or can be hydraulic where
shores are used to apply pressure to trench walls connected by pressurised hydraulic cylinders.

Figure 3: Examples excavation shoring

Trench Shields (Trench Boxes)


Workers must be protected from cave-ins when they are entering or leaving an excavation and one
way of achieving this is to use a shield system.

Portable trench shields or trench boxes (Figure 4) if installed correctly will prevent cave-ins in
trenches. Unlike shoring, which has to be put up and taken down piece by piece, shields are
easier to transport and move to where they are needed.

The design and installation of portable trench shields must be in line with all manufacturer
specifications, recommendations and limits issued which must be available at the jobsite while the
protective system is being built. Trench shields are available from the Rumaila Supply Base.

Figure 4: Examples of Trench Sheilds (Trench Boxes)

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Soil Type Classification

Stable Rock Natural solid mineral material that can be excavated with vertical sides and will
remain intact while exposed.

Type A Soil Cohesive soil with an unconfined compression strength of 1.5 tons/ft2 (tsf) or
greater.
Examples: Type A Soil includes: clay, silty clay, sandy clay, clay loam, caliche
and hardpan.
Exceptions: Not Type A Soil if it:
 Is fissured
 Is subject to vibration from heavy traffic, pile driving or similar effects
 Has been previously disturbed
 Is part of a sloped, layered system in which layers dip into the excavation at
a slope of 4 horizontal to 1 vertical or greater
 Is subject to other factors that would require it to be classified as a less
stable material

Type B Soil Cohesive soil with an unconfined compressive strength greater than .5 tsf but
less than 1.5 tsf.
Examples: Type B Soils are listed below.
 Granular cohesion-less soils, including angular gravel (similar to crushed
rock), silt, silt loam, sandy loam
 Previously disturbed soil, except when it is determined to be Type C soil
 Soil that meets the unconfined compressive strength or cementation
requirements for Type A, but is fissured or subject to vibration
 Dry rock which is not stable
 Material in a sloped, layered system in which layers dip into an excavation
on a slope less than 4 horizontal to 1 vertical, but only if the material would
be classified as a Type B soil

Type C Soil Cohesive soil with an unconfined compressive strength of 0.5 tsf or less.
Examples: Type C Soils are listed below:
 Granular soils including gravel, sand and loamy sand
 Submerged soil or soil from which water is freely seeping
 Submerged rock that is not stable
 Material in a sloped, layered systems in which the layers dip into an
excavation or a slope of 4 horizontal to 1 vertical or greater

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Appendix 4 – Protective System Requirements


The following flow diagram summarises the requirements for excavations 6 metres or less in depth.
Protective systems used in excavations more than 6 metres deep must be designed by a
registered professional engineer.

Is the excavation more than 1.2 metres in depth?

Is there potential for cave-in? Is the excavation entirely in stable rock?

No Yes
Excavation may be made with vertical sides.

Yes
Excavation must be sloped, shored or shielded. No

Sloping selected as the method of Shoring or Shielding selected as


protection. the method of protection.

Will soil classification be made by a Competent


Person in accordance with this Procedure and Soil classification is required when shoring or shielding is used.
Industry Regulation and Best Practices? The excavation must comply with one of the following options:
Option 1
Designs for timber shoring in trenches shall be determined in
accordance with the conditions and requirements set forth in
Yes Regulatory Statutes.
No
Option 2
Manufacturer’s data is to be followed for hydraulic shoring,
trench jacks, air shores or shields.
Option 3
Excavation must comply with one of the Designs of support systems, shield systems, or other protective
following three options: Excavation must have a slope no systems shall be selected from and be in accordance with
Option 1 greater than 1-1/2H : 1V (34) tabulated data, such as tables and charts. At least one copy of
Maximum allowable slopes, and allowable the tabulated data, which identifies the registered professional
configurations for sloping and benching engineer who approved the data, shall be maintained at the
systems, shall be determined in accordance jobsite during construction and use of the protective system.
to Regulatory Statutes. Option 4
Option 2 The excavation will be designed by a registered professional
Maximum allowable slopes, and allowable engineer.
configurations for sloping and benching
systems, shall be selected based on
tabulated data approved by a registered
professional engineer.
Option 3
The excavation will be designed by a
registered professional engineer.

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