What makes ground unsuitable for construction?
Ground protection mats can help to overcome a variety of conditions that might otherwise make construction sites unsafe to work on.
Due to the nature of construction work, the land underfoot is subjected to heavy loads, with pressure often exerted on a relatively small area due to vehicle tyres and lifting equipment.
When preparing a construction site, it’s important to consider the soil conditions that could be hazardous if ground protection mats are not used:
Soil bearing capacity
Soils like peat, sand and expansive clay have a lower bearing pressure, which can be mitigated by spreading the pressure exerted upon them over large timber mats.
Different times of year can lead to different load-bearing capacity, as soil behaves differently when it is very dry or after a period of heavy rain.
High water table
A high local water table or the presence of natural water sources, such as underground springs, can lead to waterlogged soils.
These again can be weaker – but stacked bog mats can ensure machinery and materials stay well clear of any wet areas.
All manner of underground hazards can create problems in specific places, including old infrastructure that may not be marked on site maps:
- Basements and cellars
- Covered manholes and shafts
- Old trenches and excavations poorly backfilled
- Shallow pipes and culverts
- Sinkholes and geological features
- Sloping ground at risk of subsidence
- Voids hidden under old foundations
- Weak soil hidden beneath thin paving
The problem with hidden hazards is that by definition, they are difficult to predict. Using timber mats as a routine precaution is one easy way to mitigate this risk, no matter what may be lurking below the surface of your construction site.
Dealing with different sites
The level of risk can depend on the size of the site and the scale of construction work being carried out – smaller sites are less likely to have large-scale problems like major buried infrastructure or significant subsidence.
Because of this, smaller work involving small plant with a low centre of gravity is likely to pose less of a safety risk, especially compared with lifting heavy loads to high-rise altitudes, for instance.
No matter the size of your site, bog mats can be laid in minutes to create an almost seamless working platform – safer for those working above, and less likely to damage any underground structures and utilities too.