Trenching and shoring play important roles in many construction projects, but as with most things on a jobsite, they come with some safety hazards. Understanding these hazards and taking steps to reduce them will increase the safety of your workers and help to ensure projects are completed on time and without injury or damage. Here is a closer look at some of the hazards that can make trenching and shoring dangerous and what you can do to control them.
Equipment falling into an area of trenching and shoring is a common concern on jobsites. Start by making sure that employees are out of the trench whenever there is digging or when items are being raised out of or lowered into the trench. Keep a perimeter area around the shoring and trenching that is kept clear. Workers who are inside the trenching should always wear hard hats and should never work under raised loads.
Employees who are working in areas of trenching and shoring must have clean and clear air to breathe. Never allow employees to work in an area with oxygen levels less than 19.5% or more than 23.5% or a combustible gas concentration of more than 20% of the lowest flammable limit. If you are working with hazardous substances, check the threshold limit values for those substances. The atmosphere should be checked regularly.
Ingress and Egress
Workers must have a clear way in and out of the work area. If the trenching that is being used is four feet deep or more, then the egress must be fixed. Workers should never be more than 25 lateral feet from the closest egress at any point while working. Ladders must be secured and should raise at least 36 inches from the top of the trenching.
Scaffold Resources can provide safe shoring rentals as well as advice for safe usage on your jobsite. If you need shoring or scaffolding in Washington, D.C., please call us at (301) 924-7223.