What is the difference between an Excavation and a Trench?
- OSHA defines an EXCAVATION as any man-made cut, cavity, trench, or depression in the earth’s surface formed by earth removal. This can include excavations for anything from cellars to highways.
- A TRENCH is defined as a narrow underground excavation that is deeper than it is wide, and no wider than 15 feet.
What are the dangers of trenching and excavation operations?
- Trenching and excavation work presents serious hazards to all workers involved.
- Cave-ins pose the greatest risk and are much more likely than other excavation-related accidents to result in worker fatalities.
- Other potential hazards include:
- Falling loads
- Hazardous atmospheres
- Incidents involving mobile equipment
Why is it important to preplan the excavation work?
- No matter how many trenching, shoring, and backfilling jobs you have done in the past, it is important to approach each new job with the utmost care and preparation.
- Many on-the-job accidents result directly from inadequate initial planning!!
- Slows down the operation
- Adds to the cost
- Increases the possibility of a cave-in or other excavation failure
How can you avoid hitting underground utility lines and pipes during excavation work?
- Call 811 – DIG SAFE
- Make sure to notice DIG SAFE markings
- If ever unsure – STOP AND ASK!!!!! Never assume!
What are some of the dangers around me that I should be aware of?