Slope it, Shore it, Shield it!

Trench collapse, also known as trench cave-in, is a hazardous situation in construction that occurs when the walls of a trench fall in or collapse. This can happen suddenly and without warning, potentially trapping, injuring, or killing workers inside the trench. Trench collapses are among the most dangerous risks in construction work, especially in projects involving excavation.

Several factors can contribute to trench collapses, including soil type, weather conditions, the width and depth of the trench, and of course, failing to use protective measures.

5 Things you should know if you are involved in trenching.

  1. Ensure there is a safe entry and exit.
  2. Trenches must have cave-in protection.
  3. Keep materials and removed soil away from the edge of the trench.
  4. Look for standing water or other hazards.
  5. Never enter a trench unless it has been properly inspected. 
  6. There are many other safety requirements to having a safe trench, and they can be found in OSHA standards 1926.650, 1926.651 and 1926.652.

These precautions are crucial for ensuring the safety of workers involved in trenching and excavation work. Download our bulletin to read more about preventing trench collapse.

Preventing Trench Collapse