OSHA Safety Manuals | trenches
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Trenching Safety A trench is a narrow channel (up to 15 feet wide), generally deeper than it is wide, made below the surface of the ground. An excavation is any man-made hole or trench that is made by removing earth. Trenching is recognized as one of the most hazardous construction activities. The greatest risk is a cave-in and even a small job can present serious safety hazards. The key to preventing this type of accident is good planning. Each year in the United States trenching cave-ins result in hundreds of serious injuries and dozens of deaths. Trenches are needed to build roads,...

Engulfment In many worksite situations, workers are at risk for engulfment hazards. Engulfment results when a worker is surrounded and overcome by a granular substance such as soil, sand, gravel, sawdust, seed, grain or flour or if submerged in a liquid such as water or a chemical. Engulfment causes physical harm when the material has enough force on the body to cause injury or death by constriction, crushing, or strangulation. Respiratory hazards associated with engulfment includes suffocation from breathing in a fine substance that fills the lungs or from drowning in a liquid. Trenches or excavation pits at construction sites pose an...

Architectural Landscaping Architectural landscaping involves more than just planting and soil; it can include carpentry, stone and concrete work, and the use of landscaping materials such as mulch and rock. Be familiar with the jobsite that you will be working.  A landscaping plan that includes materials and site layout can help you plan the proper order of material delivery and management, along with the necessary tools and equipment.  Call the Underground Service Alert service at 811 to get the location of underground utilities marked to avoid disturbing them.  Mark underground and overhead utilities and power lines on the plan to prevent accidental...