Trenching and Excavation Safety Tips

May 10, 2021 2:47 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Trenching is a necessary part of many construction jobs and engineering projects. Deep trenches are needed for laying all sorts of pipes, telephone wires and other utility lines. While it’s a vital job, trenching can also be dangerous or even deadly in some instances.

Because safety is a priority on a jobsite, this post will cover how professionals practice excavation safety in Roseville, CA.

Locate utility lines before digging

Before any shovels or heavy machinery go into the ground, all utility lines need to be located. Skipping this step could lead to a worker striking a gas, electrical, water, telephone or sewer line, leading to injuries and massive problems in the area. Thankfully, the local 811 center can identify these lines right away to prevent any delays.

Install protective systems

Protective systems are the best way to prevent any injuries resulting from cave-ins. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) standards, a protective system must be put into place if the trench is deeper than 5 feet. If the trench is over 20 feet, a professional engineer must design it. Sloping and benching, shoring or using a trench shield are a few methods professionals may use.

Use alternative trenching methods

A great tip for excavation safety in Roseville, CA is to think outside the box and use alternative trenching methods if the ground is unstable. Directional boring, utility tunneling and pipe ramming are a few workarounds that mitigate the risk of cave-ins (and subsequent injuries) if the soil is deemed unsafe.

Conduct atmospheric testing

Atmospheric tests tell digging crews if dangerous gases are present under the surface or if there’s an oxygen deficiency down below. These tests should be performed if the trench is to be over 4 feet deep and there’s suspicion that the area might be hazardous.

Beware of falling loads

Danger doesn’t just come from down below, but also up above! Any suspended or raised load could come tumbling down at any moment. One of OSHA’s safety mandates is that all workers must stand away from heavy loads when they’re in the air.

Routinely inspect trenches

Cave-ins can happen at any time, but they’re especially common after rainstorms or when blasting work is performed. One of our trenching safety tips in Roseville, CA is to constantly inspect the trenches for any indication that they might cave in. If something looks amiss, work should stop immediately to prevent any injuries.

Install safe access and egress points

Workers obviously need to be able to easily get in and out of the trench. According to OSHA standards, ladders and/or ramps must be within 25 feet of employees at all times. Installing these access points and ensuring that they’re sturdy is crucial for a safe work environment.

Hire Es7 Comm-2 U, Inc. for your trenching needs

Whether you need a deep trench dug at a construction site or a shallow one in your yard, hire our pros at Es7 Comm-2 U, Inc. As trenching experts, we don’t just follow all trenching safety tips in Roseville, CA—we guarantee the trenching job will be performed correctly and in a timely manner. Contact us today to get an estimate for your project.

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