Safety is always a number one priority in construction projects. However, still there are accidents and hazards occur in most of the construction projects around the world. Work in trenches is such dangerous activity which safety measures are essential. Excavation is one of the activities which proper safety measures are necessary to prevent accidents or injuries for the workers. In trench excavation, workers need to work in trenches. Such trench can be several feet deep sometimes. If there are no proper safety measures taken during trench excavation, it can lead to accidents including fatal situations. This is where it is necessary to implement safety precautions when there are trench excavation activities going on in any construction project.
Possible risks during trench excavation
Cave-ins are the most common accidents during trench excavation. Cave-ins can result death of workers or permanent disabilities. Therefore it is of high importance to take safety measures to mitigate the risk of cave-ins and other possible risks such as falls and trench collapses before commencing any type of trench excavation.
How to reduce Risks in trench excavation
Use of trench boxes are one of the best safety precautions available to protect workers from possible cave-ins. However together with the use of trench boxes, workers need to follow other safety measures in order to prevent accidents during trench excavation. It is the duty of qualified person, safety manager or project engineer to design and plan safe working area for the workers including relevant training in order to prevent site injuries during trench excavation.
As per OSHA, workers who engage in trench excavation over depth of 5 feet must follow protective system to prevent injuries. By providing protective measures such as angle of repose (slope of excavation), shoring system to support excavated walls and protective shields for workers can reduce the risk of cave-ins.
How to reduce Risks in trench excavation by using trench boxes?
As mentioned above trench boxes are used as a safety measure for preventing accidents such as cave-ins during trench excavation. There are different types of trench boxes available and depending on the depth of trench shoring and type of excavation, it is necessary to choose the most suitable trench boxes.
Trench box walls are made of large steel plates. Usually these trench boxes are lowered into the trench while excavation is progressing. The purpose of trench boxes is to protect the workers from possible cave-ins and for this tasks there are two large plates connected. These trench box walls will be fixed parallel to the trench walls. Then there will be horizontal bars across the trench box structure which keep the walls compressed. The trench box walls will stay steady during the excavation and prevent any material falling on workers in case of cave-ins or trench collapsing. Trench box should pull along the trench as the work progress. This step will ensure optimal safety for the workers during the trench excavation.
Construction projects become more complex day by day. Therefore it is also necessary to use appropriate safety precautions in order to protect workers and to prevent site accidents. For that purpose, Trench boxes are one of the beneficial item which ensure the safety of site workers during trench excavation activities.