Excavations and Trenches
3 Hr Training Saturday 24, 2011
By: Manuel Pescador Jr.
Our work involves digging ditches, trenches, excavations so it's important for us all to familiarize ourselves with the hazards. OSHA defines an excavation as any man-made cut, cavity, trench or depression in the earth surface, formed by earth removal. A trench is defined as a narrow excavation made below surface of the ground. Generally a trench is deeper than it is wide, but no wider than 15 feet.
Cave-Ins pose the greatest risk to workers and are most likely to result in a fatality than any other excavation related accident. It is our company responsibility to ensure that our employees are safe so it's important to know the rules. This Saturdays training educated us all in the following:
-Sloping or Benching: forming an incline or horizontal levels on the sides of an excavation.
- Shoring: using site-built structures (often plywood) to support the sides of an excavation.
- Shielding: using permanent or portable structures called trench boxes to prevent the walls from collapsing on workers.
When you're working in a trench, always be alert for signs or sounds that may indicate a possible collapse.
NEVER ENTER AN UNPROTECTED TRENCH!