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June 17, 2014

Seven Strategies for Safer Trenching

Danger Do not enter trench until properly shored
ANSI Trench Safety Sign
Why do we continue to see reports of construction workers trapped in trenches? Workers may not know just how heavy dirt and other trenching spoils can be. A cubic yard of soil may weigh more than 2,700 pounds – as much as some cars. Suffocation is as great a hazard as the weight of the material. 

OSHA reports that excavation incidents have a fatality rate that’s 112 percent higher than general construction activities. Even more chilling is the fact that most trenching accidents can be prevented. Following some very basic safety procedures can minimize the possibility of a trench accident or reduce the amount of time and effort needed for a rescue.

The safety experts at Safety Management Group in Indianapolis have shared an article with seven strategies for safer trenching. It's a good read for anyone involved with construction excavation. Here are a few key points: 

  1. Know the risk. 
  2. Study before digging. 
  3. Plan for the risks.
  4. Provide and protect access.
  5. Be ready to rescue. 
  6. Pay attention to spoils. 
  7. Never stop inspecting. 

Read more on these seven trench safety tips here, or browse a variety of Call Before Digging signs here.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds to me like these seven steps would all be really helpful in trying to make trenching safer. I especially agree with your second and seventh points, because it is incredibly important to be sure that everything has been inspected and is in good condition. By doing this, it would probably really help make sure that everyone is safe throughout the trenching process, as well as after the project is finished!