Two workers are killed every month in trench collapses.

Make sure trenches are protected from cave- ins by:

  • Sloping
  • Benching
  • Shoring

Inspect trenches before each work shift and provide safe entry and exit through ladders, ramps or stairways.

Keep all equipment, materials and spoil piles at least 2 feet back from trench edges.

Definitions

Shoring means a structure such a metal hydraulic, mechanical or timber shoring system that supports the sides of an excavation and which is designed to prevent cave-ins.

Benching means a method of protecting employees from cave-ins by excavating the sides of an excavation to form one or a series of horizontal levels or steps, usually with vertical or near vertical surfaces between levels.

Sloping means a method of protecting employees from cave-ins by excavating to form sides of an excavation that are inclined away from the excavation so as to prevent cave-ins. The angle of inclined required  to prevent a cave-in varies with differences in such factors as the soil type, environmental conditions of exposure, and application of surcharge loads.

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