You never know what you might come across when excavating the earth. You may have heard stories of construction crew that discovered mummified remains or dinosaur fossils. What do you do if you find bones at an excavation site?
Bones Found at Excavation Site; What's Next?
Digging holes using an excavator is routine business for contractors. 99% of the time, the job is uneventful and goes as planned. However, a rare instance may occur when you discover old fossilized remnants. Do you keep digging, or do you alert city officials?
Halt all Activity
Do not continue to dig. This isn't a courtesy thing; state law actually requires construction crews to halt all activity upon discovery of bones. Do not disturb the remains or attempt to dig them out if they're still in the earth.
Report the Discovery
Notify the client/landowner immediately. Can you identify the nature of the remains? Is it human or animal? If the former, then you obviously need to phone the police or the local coroner's office. The area could potentially be a crime scene. If it's an animal, then alert the local university or state geological office. The bones may simply be a buried pet or remains that warrant analysis by a paleontologist.
Provisions in Your Contract
As a financial precautionary measure, your contract with the client should include provisions that cover such scenarios. Let's say the findings force the cancellation of the project. Put it in writing that the client is still financially responsible for paid work completed to that point.
Before Beginning Excavation Work
Give Active Excavator Rentals a call for excavator and breaker rentals or get directions to our Monroe office. As a contractor, know the proper steps to take if you discover remains at your work location. Finding bones at an excavation site requires that the proper authorities step in.
Excavator Rentals for Monroe-Based Contractors
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