Code of practice - Excavation

This publication is for: 
Employee / workerEmployer

Transition arrangements allow for codes of practice approved under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 to continue being in effect as if approved by the Minister under the WHS Act.


This code of practice applies to all workplaces in Western Australia covered by the Act where excavation occurs, and to all persons with the potential for exposure to hazards resulting from excavation in those workplaces, including:

  • all areas where equipment is used to excavate
  • all areas where processes associated with excavation are undertaken.

The document provides practical guidance to prevent occupational injury and disease in all workplaces where excavation and associated earthworks are performed.

Excavation work may range from shallow trenching and simple foundation excavation to large and complex excavations for buildings and structures and deep sewers where the risk of serious injury is very significant.

Who should use this code of practice?

This code of practice should be used by all persons involved in any aspect of work related to excavation, including designers, manufacturers, suppliers, employers, contractors, self-employed persons, managers, supervisors, persons in control of workplaces, employees and safety and health representatives to assist them to comply with the Act and Regulations.

Code of practice
Last updated 23 Nov 2022

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