OSHA Safety Manuals | trenching
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Excavations Are Serious Business Excavations and trenches need not be deep or large to create a life threatening hazard. Soil is heavy, and failures take place with little or no notice. You can be trapped before there is time to react. So it is important that every excavation be prepared correctly, allowing you to complete your job safely and efficiently. Remember that every trench is different. Soil type, moisture content, depth, configuration, proximity to existing structures, and location of spoil piles all work together to make every excavation unique. Keep these points in mind when working: Follow the recommendations of your...

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,...

Trenching and Shoring Construction trenching for buried utilities, pipelines, water transport, and other activities may be hazardous. Trenches are usually deeper than they are wide and the walls may become unstable and collapse on top of workers. Trench cave-ins occur when dirt, sand, and rocks collapse into the trench. These materials can engulf, injure, or kill workers in the trench. Soil can be very dense and heavy. When it engulfs workers, it can break bones, immobilize and restrict breathing, or suffocate them outright. First, get training in trenching and shoring procedures. If workers will be entering a trench 5 feet or deeper, you...