4 Tips For Working Safely In A Trench

If you are planning on digging a trench on your property, you first need to be aware of the implications. Digging trenches can be a dangerous job, whether you are doing the digging yourself or plan to work near the trenches dug by an excavation company like Berry & Vale Contracting. Here are some tips for working in or around trenches.

The Dangers of Trenches

First of all, you should be aware of the dangers of trenches and why safety precautions are so important. When a trench is dug, it is a narrow type of excavation. It can be any length, though they are usually long and narrow. They also tend to be very deep. The first danger of a trench is that of falling inside. If you fall into a deep trench, it could mean broken bones or worse.

There is also a lot of loose material involved in building trenches, which puts an additional risk on falling. Other structures can also be affected by the trench, so if you will be near the excavation site, you need to be extra careful.

Create Temporary Support

The first way to create a safer trench is by building temporary support. The support is done during the trenching process so there are safe places to stand and work from. This often includes a combination of hydraulic jacks, posts and beams, and planking. The temporary support must be in contact with the walls of the trench so that there isn't the risk of falling due to loose materials. Standing on the edge of the trench is a hazard, but standing on a plank can be a lot safer. There should always be someone on site that is experienced with building temporary support.

Use the Sloped Method

A sloped excavation is not always an option, but if it is, it can be a lot safer. This type of trenching involves doing excavation at an angle. Slopes are cut into the ground at an angle, where there isn't the risk of falling and injuring yourself. Some soils will allow slopped excavation to be done. It is often used when trenching for plumbing or similar purposes. Talk to your excavation contractor about doing slopped excavation for your trenches to see if it is an option.

Get In and Out Safely

A major part of the hazards of trenches is getting in and out. If it is a deep trench, make sure support is built that allows you to get in and out of it safely. You may need to reach the bottom of the trench, but you shouldn't just be jumping in, even if it's only a few feet deep. Instead, use a ramp, stairway, or ladder that allows you to get in and out of the trench without injuring yourself.