The Importance of Trench Shoring
Construction and civil engineering are huge industries in the United States. Buildings, bridges, roadways, and tunnels are continuously built and improved. Yet, while these industries employ thousands of workers, it can be a dangerous job to build such facilities. Thankfully, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has specific policies and regulations to protect construction workers.
In construction, OSHA defines an excavation as any trench, depression, or cavity in the ground that occurs as a result of earth removal. Further, a trench is known as such a cut in the ground that is deeper than it is wide and is no wider than 15 feet. These trenches require plenty of support in order to avoid collapse of the earth. This practice is referred to as trench excavation shoring.
To keep construction workers safe, companies should ensure that trenches all have the proper shoring equipment, including safe access to an escape in the event of an emergency. This may take the form of a ladder in the trench, or steps, ramps, or other safe means of escape, if the trench is more than four feet deep.
Trench shoring is necessary as a means of support in trench excavations that are more than five feet deep, but not made of solid rock. In trenches more than 20 feet deep, the support system must be designed, or approved, by a registered professional engineer. This is extremely important for worker safety. Should a collapse occur, the support system will prevent injury from construction workers and, at the very least, provide them enough time to exit with the ladder or steps.
What You Should Do To Stay Safe: Trench Box Rentals
Furthermore, in keeping workers safe, it is even more important to ensure the inclusion of a trench box. For example, trench box rentals would allow construction companies to keep workers safe by preventing side walls from collapsing.
Trench boxes, also known as trench shields, allow workers to safely perform their duties within a trench. They can even be customized to match the width of a particular trench. While trench boxes are often used in open areas, they can and should also be used in combination with sloping and benching. If there is sloping, the box should extend at least 18 inches above the surrounding area, according to OSHA’s guidelines.
Trench box rentals can make a huge difference with any construction or utility project. By preventing injuries to workers with the proper trench shoring equipment and trench boxes, companies can save money in the long run. They will also have much happier workers who feel confident and safe during the project. If you find yourself managing such a project, which will involve trenches and excavations, don’t hesitate to rent a trench box today!