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Excavation Safety

by Hal on February 17, 2005

in Safety

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Trenching deaths and injuries are in the news almost every week. (Take a look at the Safety Everyday Sideblog for recent stories.) OSHA recently responded with a Safety Tips Card: Safety in Excavations or Trenches. It is available in English and Spanish.

Trenches must meet at least one of the following conditions:

  • Sloped for stability
  • Cut to create stepped or benched grades
  • Supported by a system made with posts, beams, shores or planking and hydraulic jacks
  • Supported by a trench box
  • An exit ladder must be within 25 feet of workers extending 3 feet out of the trench

See that your project meets these conditions. Don't ever go into a trench that isn't prepared appropriately. Print the above card and give one to everyone on your job. And for another take on how to address trench safety read Trench Warfare — Time to Get Serious about Planning.

Read Safety Everyday's construction safety in the news sideblog.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jack Stevens February 18, 2005 at 1:08 pm

The Safety tips card implies that if you have a ladder every 25′ you don’t have to maintain the other criteria. We need to be aware that this is not the case. The ladder requirement is a seperate issue as related to means of egress.

2 Hal February 18, 2005 at 1:58 pm

Jack is right about the ladder. Ladders are required in addition to the other criteria.

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