OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 32 Excavating and Tunnelling

Section 453 Spoil piles

The distance between the edge of the excavation and the leading edge of any spoil pile must be at least 1 m. The slope of the spoil pile cannot exceed 45° from the horizontal. These measures are intended to reduce the possibility of the spoil pile slumping into the excavation and loose materials rolling down the pile into the excavation. Spoil pile materials have rolled into excavations as a result of natural settling and daytime warming of frozen excavated material.

Spoil piles should also be located away from the edge of an excavation because the weight of excavated materials can exert unnecessary pressure on the walls of the excavation. Such pressure can cause excavation walls to collapse.