By CSA Group

Drill rigs are frequently used in construction projects, and the safe and effective operation of these rigs is a critical component in ensuring the safety of workers on the job site. Despite being used hundreds of times per year across Canada, there currently isn’t a unified set of safety practices that can be applied nationally for drill rigs.

Responding to this need, CSA Group organized and facilitated a two-day workshop that included representatives from the Eastern Canadian and Western Canadian Chapters of the International Association of Foundation Drilling (ADSC) to explore the potential for the development of a new standard for drill rigs. The workshop engaged stakeholders at a national level to identify industry needs with respect to harmonized safety requirements and completed an in-depth review of an initial ADSC document on drill shaft requirements. The workshop brought together stakeholders representing owners; management; contractors; manufacturers; operators; regulatory authorities; and other stakeholders such as inspectors, consultants and trainers to participate and share their voice on this important topic.

The workshop discussed the scope of the current version of the ADSC document, which is focused on kelly bar drilling and auger drilling, and identified a number of gaps that would need to be considered, such as training/operator qualifications, site conditions, additional equipment types, stability and drilling procedures.

With respect to the ADSC document, workshop participants expressed support for the following enhancements:

  1. Including/enhancing drilling procedures;
  2. Defining minimum competency and minimum operator qualifications;
  3. Addressing soil and effluent management plans;
  4. Including a checklist or content on assessing changing site conditions; and
  5. Addressing drill rig bearing pressure.

It was further agreed that consideration needs to be given to the development of separate documents and standards on equipment not currently addressed in the ADSC document (such as CFA, micropiles, anchors, soil mixing, cutter soil mixing, diaphragm walls, displacement piles, etc.).

CSA Group and the Eastern and Western Chapters of the ADSC will be discussing potential next steps for transitioning the ADSC document into a CSA National Standard.

If you are interested in participating in the development of this standard or looking at other opportunities to support these efforts, please contact Andrea Holbeche (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), project manager, Worker and Public Safety Program, at CSA Group.


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Piling Canada is the premier national voice for the Canadian deep foundation construction industry. Each issue is dedicated to providing readers with current and informative editorial, including project updates, company profiles, technological advancements, safety news, environmental information, HR advice, pertinent legal issues and more.