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Excavation and trenching is important in some construction projects. However, it can also be very dangerous if you do not take the proper steps to prepare yourself and know what to look for. This course will teach you the process of staying safe during excavation.
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Excavation and trenching are among the most hazardous construction operations.
Trenching and excavation work presents serious hazards to all workers involved. Cave-ins pose the greatest risk and are more likely than some other excavation-related incidents to result in worker fatalities.
Some of the compliance methods permitted under the Excavation standards require a competent person to classify soil and rock deposits as... Stable Rock – Natural solid mineral matter that can be excavated with vertical sides and remain intact while exposed. Type A – Cohesive soils with an unconfined compressive strength of 1.5 tons per square foot (tsf) (144 kPa) or greater. Examples include: clay, silty clay, sandy clay, and clay loam. Certain conditions preclude soil from being classified as Type A. ## Type B – Includes cohesive soil with an unconfined compressive strength greater than 0.5 tsf (48 kPa) but less than 1.5 tsf (144 kPa) and granular cohesionless soils (such as angular gravel, similar to crushed rock, silt, silt loam, sandy loam, and, in some cases, silty clay loam and sandy clay loam). Type C – Cohesive soil with an unconfined compressive strength of 0.5 tsf (48 kPa) or less, granular soils (including gravel, sand, and loamy sand), submerged soil or soil from which water is freely seeping, submerged rock that is not stable, or material in a sloped, layered system where the layers dip into the excavation or with a slope of four horizontal to one vertical (4H:1V) or steeper.
What is a competent person?
Under the Excavation standards, tasks performed by the competent person include... ## Classifying soil ## Inspecting protective systems Designing structural ramps ## Monitoring water removal equipment Conducting site inspections
Why is preplanning important to excavation work?
No matter how many trenching, shoring, and backfilling jobs an employer has done in the past, it is important to approach each new job with care and preparation.
Many on-the-job incidents result from inadequate initial planning. Waiting until after the work starts to correct mistakes in shoring or sloping slows down the operation, adds to the cost of the project, and makes a cave-in or other excavation failure more likely.
What safety factors should be considered when bidding on a job?
Before preparing a bid, employers should know as much as possible about the jobsite and the materials they will need to have on hand to perform the work safely and in compliance with OSHA standards.
Factors to consider may include: Traffic Proximity and physical condition of nearby structures -Soil classification Surface and ground water Location of the water table Overhead and underground utilities
Weather Quantity of shoring or protective systems that may be required Fall protection needs Number of ladders that may be needed Other equipment needs.
Determine the exact location of underground installations by safe and acceptable means when excavation operations approach the approximate location of the installations.
Ensure that while the excavation is open, underground installations are protected, supported or removed as necessary to safeguard workers.
Protective Systems to prevent cave-ins
Employers protect workers from cave-ins by: Sloping and benching the sides of the excavation; Supporting the sides of the excavation; or Placing a shield between the side of the excavation and the work area
The standards also prohibit excavation below the base or footing of any foundation or retaining wall that could be reasonably expected to pose a hazard to workers unless: The employer provides a support system, such as underpinning The excavation is in stable rock A registered professional engineer determines that the structure is far enough away from the excavation that it would not be affected by the excavation activity or that the excavation work will not pose a hazard to workers.
# Requirements for safely installing and removing protective systems
## Members of support systems must be securely connected to prevent sliding, falling, kickouts or predictable failure.
## Support systems must be installed and removed in a manner that protects workers from cave-ins and structural collapses and from being struck by members of the support system. Members of support systems must not be overloaded.