Safe Construction for Piles & Deep Foundations

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Piles are usually driven into the ground in situ; Other deep foundations are usually laid using excavation and drilling. Nomenclature meetings may vary between engineering departments and organizations. Deep foundations can be made of wood, steel, reinforced concrete or prestressed concrete.

In piles and deep foundation works a basic step to safety is the knowledge of components of machinery and equipment one is going to use and how they cause accidents and what actions the operator must take to prevent accidents. Machines and equipment vary widely depending on the process and mode of piling, manufacturer’s specifications, specification and associated factors. One must understand the safety requirements of each machine.


Piling Rigs

The legs of the tripod should spike properly into the ground. This avoids the dangers of tripod slipping while resting on paved ground or sleepers. The legs and bases turns thin and fatigue after being used so many times. They need to be replaced frequently.

Failure of the cover by cutting the bolt or pin is very common. Therefore, frequent inspections of the covers are required. The wire rope forms the connection between the main piling tools and the winch. Regular checks are required in this regard.

piling rig
  • Check for loose strands and wear, deformation, corrosion and breakage of wires.
  • Check if the end of the rope has become loose or if the wire clips or wire sockets have slipped.
  • Check that the rope does not slip from the sleeve during work.
  • Check that torsion has occurred while working and if so, usually rewind at once.
  • Check for adhesion such as mud, earth etc. on the rope. If so, clean with a wire brush or compressed air.
  • Check that the grease applied on the rope is adequate.
  • Check for wear and cracks on the lining of the clutch and brake band; And engine condition.

Field operation

Common hazards in various field activities such as sheet piling, well foundation are mentioned below:

Sheet piling is commonly used for casing or cofferdam construction, allowing for efficient watering in the water work. They are handled manually, lifted by cranes and lowered by a hammer or vibrostroker. Accidents caused by injuries during drowning and maintenance are very common. These can be reduced by adopting the following precautions:

  • Hand ropes should be tied to control/prevent movement of the transported steel sheet sections.
  • Strips should be provided to workers engaged in interlocking sheets.
  • Adequate pumping facilities will be provided at the cofferdam. Appropriate escape routes, such as ladders and boats at cofferdams, are provided to protect workers in the event of flooding.
  • Adequate supply of life saving equipment is provided to the workers working in the cofferdams.

When sheet sections are removed their movement is controlled by cables and other effective means.

Well Foundation

The progress and safety of a well sink depends on the knowledge of cutting edges and the nature of the sub-floor ranges provided by the designer. Workers should also be introduced to take precautionary measures such as the appearance of heavy sand blow and reduction of peripheral areas. Common causes of accidents are given below:

  • Concentrating the piles – The boiler is used to locate the file center. If a worker tries to loosen the sand in that area while the boiler is hanging over his head, he may have a head injury.
  • Driving of casing – likely sofa driving bar accidentally fell, injuring worker.
  • Driving cap – The driving cap is mounted by the bar with the help of clutch or block. Clutch and block giving situations and driving cap often come up.
  • Lowering down the Reinforcement Cages – Binding wire, wire nails, etc. are a very common injury to workers when making or maintaining pile cages.
  • Jammed Casing – Sometimes the cover jams, in the process of removing them, the load on the tripod legs increases and the tripod collapses. At times, this risk can be fatal. Similarly, if the shocks coming out of the bore with one shock come out, it can reduce the overall concrete and steel reinforcements,
  • The opening casing must be constantly moving so that it is free of concrete.
  • Chisel grinding – When they are grinded after the operation is complete, the baller and chisel are still in place. Workers need to keep a safe distance.
  • Pile bore completion – Accidents after bore completion are caused by the cut-off level being lower than ground level. In addition, the use of sand or bentonite can hide the steel bars of the pile, which can cause injury to the feet.

Methane meters should be installed to detect methane and other hazardous gases. Blow is the most dangerous risk of drowning well. The driver should be aware of this ‘accident’. Be very careful to protect the driver from being buried or injured. The open grab work winch engine must be running. Be prepared to avoid such accidents. All driving equipment must be inspected. Excavation work Jack hammers, axes etc. should be taken out carefully and cautiously. The driver should not go well below the cutting edge of the hook.

General precautions

  • All workers must wear tight-fitting clothing or uniforms, helmets, gloves, protective shoes and eye protection clothing.
  • Electrical connections must be handled very carefully. Direct connections of power should be prohibited. Each unit must have its own switchboard. All cables must be properly insulated and earthing.
  • Stop engines before mounting V-belts or flat belts on them.
  • Piling work can cause vibrations that can damage the surrounding structure, especially older ones. Therefore, it is necessary to keep an eye on the old structure while piling work is going on.

The condition of the structures around the piling area should be inspected before starting work. In the case of bored or caisson piles, there is a greater chance of subsoil mass movement into the bore-hole, which is closer to certain foundations nearby. This is more likely in wet holes. Approved methods for operation in such situations should be planned.

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