When working in any aspect of construction safety and compliance to regulatory rules needs to be at the top of the entire crew’s mind. For anyone working in excavation the safety may always present a potential danger. Excavation is one of the more dangerous fields in construction according to the OSHA. To keep up with regulations to be compliant, consider reading articles like this, and taking CPT excavation safety courses.
Aluminum Shoring Panels
The truth that any professional that has been working in excavation for a long time knows is that it is a matter of time. Any trench will start to cave in at some point. The idea is to be aware of reality, risks and have a good handle on how long a trench will stay in place.
As a manager, take time into account, and always get the crew out earlier than a cave-in is anticipated to start occurring. Aluminum shoring uses hydraulics to create a temporary structure within a trench. This extends the time period that a crew can work before dealing with soil coming back down. Just one cubic yard of heavy soil can weigh an astounding 3,000 pounds.
Without shoring, it is anyone’s guess how quickly soil will drop back down onto workers. That is the real and present threat. Workers can and have suffocated under the weight of soil that is caving in on them. Typically, unless the trench is cut out of stone, and is five feet in depth, then it needs to have shoring in place to protect trench workers from the real danger of the weight of the soil coming down on them while they are working.
Inspections And Soil Typing
Because it is possible that the soil will have started caving in, the trench must be examined daily at regular intervals. In particular, if there was any change in the soil such as an extreme arid period with no rain, or an excess of rain, the stability of the trench may change drastically. That is why regular examinations need to be performed.
The issue is that when it rains, or if there is erosion from extended dry periods, different and less stable soil may become more prominent in the trench. The soil in a trench is not necessarily all the same. That is why when some of it falls away, it may reveal less stable soil behind it.
Regular checks on soil and an expectation that soil will give at some point help to keep workers safe. Trench workers need to be kept safe because their jobs are dangerous.