Trenching is dangerous business in general. It is a form of construction that involves cutting man-made holes t
hat are significantly deeper than they are wide. There are a few techniques that trenching crews can employ if they want to maintain a safe work environment:
- Benching – To prevent a cave-in, excavators can cut a series of horizontal steps into the walls of the excavation similar to terraced agriculture. Unfortunately, benching does not work with Type C soil.
- Sloping – Also to prevent a cave-in, excavators can cut back a gradual slope from the edge of the surface to the bottom of the trench at an angle away from the trench. Sloping makes trench access significantly simpler.
- Shoring – Excavators can prevent soil movements as well as cave-ins by installing hydraulic aluminum tubing along the side of the excavation.
- Shielding – Protects workers from cave-ins and prevents soil movement by installing supported walls up against the sides of the excavation.
These techniques can be used alone or, in some cases, in combination; however, choosing the appropriate technique is strictly dependent on the type of soil, the size of excavation, the presence of underground water, current weather conditions and the weight of excavation materials. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), on average, two workers die every month in trench collapses.
Looking For A Columbus Attorney To Represent You After A Trenching Accident?
If you or a co-worker are in the trenching business and fear that your employer does not follow safe practices, consult an experienced workers compensation attorney immediately. The law offices of Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC have been defending victims of workplace accidents since 1929. If you need representation or simply need a legal opinion on anything related to workplace safety, give us a call today.
[Did You Know: According to OSHA, a cubic yard of soil weighs as much as an automobile.]
Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC
—Columbus Workers Comp Attorneys