Model Code of Practice: Excavation work


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This model Code of Practice provides guidance on managing risks associated with excavation work. 

This Code applies to all types of excavation work, including: 

  • bulk excavations more than 1.5 metres deep 
  • trenches 
  • shafts 
  • tunnels. 

Excavation collapses are dangerous. They can happen quickly, making it difficult for workers and others to escape. 

In this model Code, the word:  

  • ‘should’ indicates a recommended course of action, and  
  • ‘may’ means an optional course of action. 

The words ‘must’, ‘requires’ or ‘mandatory’ mean that the courses of action are compulsory.

Check with your local regulator to find out if this Code of Practice has legal effect in your jurisdiction. 

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Model Codes of Practice


Model Work Health and Safety Laws
Plant, equipment and structures
Safety by industry and business