You never know what lies beneath the floor you’re digging. You may have heard tales of construction crews that found mummified remains or ancient fossils. What actions should you take regarding excavation site bones?
What to Do with Excavation Site Bones in Tacoma
Digging rocky soil using an excavator is par for the course for contractors. 99% of the time, the exhumed earth is nothing but mounds of dirt, soil, and pebbles. However, it’s not unheard of for crew members to discover skeletal remains. What do you do? Do you just resume work and keep digging?
Halt all Activity
Stop all construction work right away. Washington law requires construction workers to halt all activity upon finding bones. Don’t disturb the remains or try to dig them out if they're still partially buried.
Report the Findings
Notify the client/landowner. Can you identify the nature of the bones? Is it human or animal? If the former, then you contact law enforcement or the local coroner's office. The site may be a crime scene. If it's animal remains, then contact the local university or state geological office. The bones may simply be a buried pet from a prior property owner. On the other hand, the bones may be of anthropological significance and warrant analysis from an expert.
Provisions in Your Contract
As a financial safety net, your terms of conditions with the client should cover events like discovering bones. A scenario like this could bring a permanent halt to the project. Have it in writing that the client is contractually obligated to still compensate you for work completed up to that point. This way, you’ll at least recuperate the cost of equipment rental, employee hours, etc.
Contact Us Before Beginning a Project
Contact Active Excavator Rentals for excavator and breaker rentals or get directions to our head office in Monroe. As a construction worker, know the precise steps to take if you come upon bones – human or otherwise – at your project zone. Discovering bones at an excavation site requires authority notification.
Procedural Steps for Excavation Site Bones Found in Tacoma
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