Safety Of Hydrovacs For Construction Excavation

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Building construction is full of hazards, and it is imperative to minimize the risks posed to the surrounding soil and the crew members. Out of various available methods, if you require a procedure that is not too invasive and detrimental to the ground, you might want to go with hydrovac excavation. It is a simple yet one of the safest and efficient excavation methods, which involves a pressure-exerting hose and a vacuum to clear off the slimy mixture left behind. 


Instead of using mechanical instruments, hydrovacing creates a slurry by using pressurized water. The slurry can then be vacuumed away, revealing deeper ground layers beneath. Hydrovac companies widely use this method to uncover existing utility wires and pipe systems with the least risk of damages to the underground utilities. The process itself is very safe, but some formal practices are vital to ensure the overall safety of hydrovacing. 

Wear protective equipment

Personal Protective Equipment is a necessity and should be worn at all times by the workers. Safety goggles, gloves, caps, protective clothes, respiratory protection, footwear, and hearing protection are all examples of personal protective equipment. This can safeguard workers from injuries and reduce the risks of damage caused by unwanted accidents. Even though hydrovacing is not a harmful procedure, it is better to take preventive measures before it is too late. 

Take care of the gas lines

Gas lines must be marked and identified with paint or posts before hydrovac excavation begins. Once the lines have been discovered, a 1-meter radius around the region should be dug with a low-pressure hydrovac. It will expose the gas line. The process is often called “daylighting.” Hydrovacing is also successful when working with the frozen ground or other tricky terrains since they combine water pressure and vacuum suction to excavate the soil. 

Underground cables

Using a non-conductive coating on each digging nozzle end and a soft, non-conductive layer on all vacuum tube ends is vital. Avoiding damage to underground utilities is the ultimate goal behind utilizing hydrovac services. On the other hand, steel-crown spikes can damage utility wires and should be avoided at all costs. According to job-site safety procedures, all electrical utility wires should be treated as active, which can cause serious injuries. Since hydrovacing is considered a safe procedure, it is better to go with the safety parameters and make it as risk-free as possible. 


Overhead wires

When overhead electrical cables are present, safety precautions must be followed at all times. When the voltage is not determined, all employees and on-site equipment must stay at least 7 meters away from overhead lines. Hydrovacing companies must ensure effective communication to avoid any unwanted accidents. There should be sufficient space to allow the efficient working of a vac truck. It can be tricky to Work in an urban area where overhead wires are present. Communication with the relevant authorities to cut off the voltage supply during the excavation job may be needed.


Rocks or surface debris might clog the dig tube and need to be removed to keep the suction working correctly. When moving the dig tube, especially if it needs to be lifted to remove the blockage, it’s crucial to be cautious.

Worker safety 

On any job site, worker safety and prevention of injuries should be a top priority. All crew members should be aware of the following safety procedures to reduce the likelihood of workplace accidents: Before performing a hydrovac excavation, each worker should be completely aware of any hazards and potential dangers to their health. Hydrovac operators must be trained in excavation processes and machine safety techniques. Hydrovac companies should only allow the equipment to be operated according to the manufacturer’s operating instructions.

Create a safety plan 

A safety plan should identify potential dangers and ways to handle them. An emergency plan can assist in emergency preparedness and provide instructions on what to do in an emergency. Hydrovacing can be made risk-free by creating a safety plan and strictly following it. 



Even though hydro vac excavation is a straightforward and hazard-free method, some potential dangers are still there. To make the procedure safer for everyone, design a safety plan, use protective gear and ensure that each crew member is skilled enough to handle any mishap.