Minimum PPE for Vacuum Excavation Work

Safety on the job site is everyone’s responsibility. We take safety very seriously. Here is the minimum safety personal protective equipment (PPE) you need when working on or in the vicinity of a vacuum excavation truck while it is excavating utility test holes.

Hard Hat

This is the most common piece of PPE required by most employers in the construction industry. A hard hat is required when working on or around the vacuum excavation truck on account of the high risk of “struck-by” injuries imposed by the excavation process. High-pressure air is used to disturb the settled and compacted ground, which leads to a lot of flying debris at high velocities.

Safety Glasses with Side Shields (ANSI Z87)

Likewise, with hard hats, ANSI Z87 approved safety glasses with side shields are required when working on or around a vac truck. The high-velocity dirt that is blown out of the excavation test hole is a hazard that you must prepare for.

Face Shields

If you are working within 25 feet of the test hole that is being excavated, we require our technicians to wear safety shields that are attached to the hard hat and provide additional protection not only to the eyes but to the worker’s entire face.

Long Pants & Shirts

To help protect the employee’s skin from abrasions and lacerations, we require anyone working within 75′ of the utility test hole excavation to wear long pants and long sleeve shirts. Special consideration is given during the summer months when temperatures exceed 85°F with regard to long sleeve shirts. Long pants are considered standard PPE company-wide for all field work.

Ear Plugs / Hearing Protection

The vacuum excavation truck is quite loud while we are excavating test holes, and we require all personnel working within 100 feet of the truck to wear proper hearing protection.

Impact Resistant Safety Gloves

We require all personnel working on the vacuum excavation truck to wear impact resistant safety gloves to help dampen the effects of the vibrations produced by many of the pneumatic tools we use to perform test holes. These gloves also help protect the hands from struck-by injuries encountered by flying debris out of the hole, as well as providing thermal protection from the heat generated by the high-pressure air lance.

Steel / Composite Toe Safety Boots

All personnel are required to wear steel-toe or composite-toe safety work boots while performing all field work, including vacuum excavation projects.

ANSI Class III Retro-reflective Safety Vest

Another standard piece of PPE equipment we utilize for all field work is our safety vest. We use an ANSI Class 3 retro-reflective safety vest featuring both safety lime green, fluorescent orange, and reflective strips.

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