Engineering Apps

Excavation Permit Inspection Checklist

An excavation permit is required before digging for any construction, road repair, or improvement work in the public right-of-way. Use this quick and easy mobile inspection app to ensure that the excavation procedure is planned thoroughly, underground utility installations are protected, structural ramps adhere to design codes, excavation atmosphere is safe for workers, and more. Customize this app to accommodate your local and state regulatory permit requirements. This app works in both on and offline environments.

Excavation Permit Inspection Checklist iPhone, iPad Excavation Permit Inspection Checklist Android Excavation Permit Inspection Checklist Web, Desktop
Excavation Permit Inspection Checklist


Site Location



Competent Person

Soil Classification

Excavation Depth

Excavation Width

Type of Protective System Used

General Inspection of Jobsite

Excavations, adjacent areas, and protective systems inspected by a competent person daily before the start of work.

Competent person has the authority to remove employees from the excavation immediately.

Surface encumbrances removed or supported.

Employees protected from loose rock or soil that could pose a hazard by falling or rolling into the excavation.

Hard hats worn by all employees.

Spoils, materials, and equipment set back at least two feet from the edge of the excavation.

Barriers provided at all remotely located excavations, wells, pits, shafts, etc.

Walkways and bridges over excavations four feet or more in depth are equipped with standard guardrails and toeboards.

Warning vests or other highly visible clothing provided and worn by all employees exposed to public vehicular traffic.

Employees required to stand away from vehicles being loaded or unloaded.

Warning system established and utilized when mobile equipment is operating near the edge of the excavation.

Employees prohibited from going under suspended loads.

Employees prohibited from working on the faces of slopes or benched excavations above other employees.


Utility companies contacted and/or utilities located.

Exact location of utilities marked.

Underground installations protected, supported, or removed when excavation is open.

Means of Access and Egress

Lateral travel to means of egress no greater than 25 feet in excavations four feet or more in depth.

Ladders used in excavations secured and extended three feet above the edge of the trench.

Structural ramps used by employees designed by a competent person.

Structural ramps used for equipment designed by a registered professional engineer (RPE)

Ramps constructed of materials of uniform thickness, cleated together on the bottom, equipped with no-slip surface.

Employees protected from cave-ins when entering or exiting the excavation.

Wet Conditions

Precautions take to protect employees from the accumulation of water.

Water removal equipment monitored by a competent person.

Surface water or runoff diverted or controlled to prevent accumulation in the excavation.

Inspections made after every rainstorm or other hazard-increasing occurrence.

Hazardous Atmosphere

Atmosphere within the excavation tested where there is a reasonable possibility of an oxygen deficiency, combustible or other harmful contaminant exposing employees to a hazard.

Adequate precautions taken to protect employees from exposure to an atmosphere containing less than 19.5% oxygen and/or to other hazardous atmospheres

Ventilation provided to prevent employee exposure to an atmosphere containing flammable gas in excess of 10% of the lower explosive limit of the gas.

Testing conducted often to ensure that the atmosphere remains safe

Emergency equipment, such as breathing apparatus, safety harness and lifeline, and/or basket stretcher readily available where hazardous atmospheres could or do exist.

Employees trained to use personal protective and other rescue equipment.

Safety harness and lifeline used and individually attended when entering bell bottom or other deep confined excavations.

Support Systems

Materials and/or equipment for support systems selected based on soil analysis, trench depth, and expected loads.

Materials and equipment used for protective systems inspected and in good condition.

Materials and equipment not in good condition have been removed from service.

Damaged materials and equipment used for protective systems inspected by a registered professional engineer (RPE) after repairs and before being placed back into service.

Protective systems installed without exposing employees to the hazards of cave-ins, collapses, or threat of being struck by materials or equipment.

Members of support system securely fastened to prevent failure.

Support systems provided in ensure stability of adjacent structures, buildings, roadways, sidewalks, walls, etc.

Excavations below the level of the base or footing supported, approved by an RPE.

Removal of support systems progresses from the bottom and members are released lowly as to note any indication of possible failure.

Backfilling progresses with removal of support system.

Excavation of material to a level no greater than two feet below the bottom of the support system and only if the system is designed to support the loads calculated for the full depth.

Shield system placed to prevent lateral movement.

Employees are prohibited from remaining in shield system during vertical movement.