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Carry out manual excavation

Unit Descriptor This unit specifies the competency required to carry out safe and effective manual excavation for situations requiring basic benching and battering but not requiring formal shoring. It includes the minimum criteria for competency assessment. The unit includes preparation for work, the digging and cleaning of the excavation, excavation of post holes, the application of basic collapse prevention techniques, the isolating of the immediate area and the final clean up.

1 . Prepare for work
  1. Work instructions, including plans, specifications, quality requirements and operational details are obtained, confirmed and applied to the allotted task

  2. Safety requirements are obtained from the site safety plan and organisational policies and procedures, confirmed and applied to the allotted task

  3. Signage requirements are identified and obtained from the project traffic management plan and observed

  4. Tools and equipment selected to carry out tasks are consistent with the requirements of the job, checked for serviceability and any faults are rectified or reported

  5. Environmental protection requirements are identified from the project environmental management plan, confirmed and applied to the allotted task

2 . Dig small excavations by hand
  1. The location and specifications of the intended excavation are confirmed on the ground before commencing work

  2. Service markers or taped areas are identified

  3. Location of underground services is determined or confirmed to avoid damage or interference

  4. Hand tools are correctly used to safely dig post holes, small pits and trenches to the required dimensions

  5. Trench collapse prevention procedures are undertaken in accordance with legislative and site requirements, where excavation is in unstable ground

  6. Barricades are placed around the excavation

3 . Complete and isolate the excavation
  1. Loose material is cleaned out of excavation using hand tools

  2. The excavation is checked for confirmation with the specification or work instruction

4 . Clean up
  1. Loose material is cleared away from edge of excavation

  2. Work area is cleared and materials disposed of or recycled in accordance with project environmental management plan

  3. Tools and equipment are cleaned, checked, maintained and stored in accordance with manufacturers' recommendations and standard work practices

Key CompetencyExamples of ApplicationPerformance
How can information be collected, analysed and organised?
How are ideas and information communicated within this competency?
How are activities planned and organised?
How are problem solving skills applied?
How are mathematical ideas and techniques used?
How is use of technology applied?
How is team work used within this competency?

Range Statement

Unit scope

Safety (OH&S)

Environmental Requirements

Quality Requirements

Statutory/Regulatory Authorities

Tools and equipment




Evidence Guide

Critical aspects of evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

Relationship to other units

Competency in this unit may be assessed in conjunction with other functional units which together form part of the holistic work role

The context of assessment

Methods of assessment

Specific resource requirements for this unit