Excavation vs. Trenching

August 3, 2022 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

What are the differences between trenching and excavating? These terms seem so similar, and there can be some confusion about which is which. Here at Es7-Comm-2-U, we want to provide you with what you need to know. 

Why Would Utility Companies Need Trenching? 

First, let’s start by covering why a utility company would need trenching services in the first place. They need this service done because they may need to dig into the ground to uncover utility lines previously laid there. Thus, you may see whole teams of people from the local government who come out to work on a trenching project to lay utility lines or repair lines. This is common as cities and towns expand, and it is a reason why they may require trenching services. 

Different Equipment Requirements

Trenching requires different equipment than excavation does. What you are typically looking at with trenching is the use of power trenchers that can handle the bigger jobs that need to get done. On top of that, you may see that smaller pieces of equipment are used for an excavation project. It really depends on how far and deep one must dig into the ground to complete a project.

There are plenty of situations in which digging doesn’t necessarily have to go very far at all. When that is the case, it is possible that there are major differences between the final results of an excavation project versus a trenching project, and it is important to understand that each will come to a different final result. 

Safety Requirements

OSHA is a bit more strident in its attempts to enforce safety standards on those doing trenching projects than those doing excavation projects. Both types of projects should be taken seriously, but OSHA is more determined to ensure that people doing trenching jobs take care to stay safe when they are on the job. They have additional safety equipment requirements for any trenching job that consists of stable rock at least five feet deep. This covers almost all trenching jobs that will ever be done, so you can be sure that OSHA is on the case when it comes to keeping people safe while they are doing trenching work. 

You are wise to pay attention to OSHA requirements for things like this as they are subject to change, and you need to stay on top of the latest if you want to be sure that your people can remain safe while on the job. It is up to you to make it happen, and OSHA rules are what should be followed every time. 

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