Trench Safety And The Importance of Protective Systems
Trench collapses cause dozens on fatalities and hundreds of injuries each year. Using required protective systems while working in a trench can save your life. Many people don't understand the importance of trench boxes. Trench boxes are devices that are installed in the ground during excavation work. This equipment is designed to support the walls of a trench during an excavation project and are put in place to prevent the walls of the trench from collapsing. Whenever an excavation is greater than 5' in depth, the use of protective system is required. The fatality rate for excavation work has risen due to excavation crews not using protective systems. Without these protective systems in place, trench walls can collapse at any time crushing any crew members working inside the trench.
Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind when working in or around open trenches:
- Make sure to mark off and barricade the outside of any open trench.
- Make sure to inspect protective systems for any damage, cracks, or weak areas prior to using.
- Once protective system is installed in the trench make sure to inspect that all parts are securely in place before entering the work area.
- NEVER jump into an excavation area. Always use a ladder to enter and exit.
- When the job is complete, backfill trench as soon as possible.
- Make sure crew understands what to do if there is an emergency and make sure there is a plan in place.
Trench safety is very important and should not be taken lightly. Following these few safety tips could save your life.
Download the Osha Quick Safety Card to share with your crew.