Farming Trench Shoring: Constructing a Proper Trench, Part 2

By Marie | April 4, 2012

Backhoe

This is Part 2 of the series.  Be sure to read Part 1 – A Dangerous Dig.

Trenches used for farming purposes may look harmless, but they are extremely dangerous for construction workers. When dug improperly, trenches can easily cave in, crushing or suffocating anyone at the bottom of the trench. All of these accidents can easily be prevented, simply by following these basic steps as you plan out your next construction project.

To start off, meet with your construction crew to sort out and plan out the project. Here are a few items to bring up when it comes to trenches.

  • Have a good understanding of the type of soil you will be working with. If it is lose or consistently moist, extra precaution is necessary. A dirt sifter can help sift through dirt to help find dangerous objects or important items.
  • Know where all the necessary utilities are located. Contact the local utility companies or a utility locator service prior to digging your trench. Utility location can affect the placement of your trench and also the choice of protective equipment and measures you may have to take.
  • Understand what equipment is required to get the job done. Don’t be in a situation where you have to halt construction for a week in order to get necessary safety equipment in place. Trench shields are one of the most common forgotten safety equipment.

There is a huge amount of equipment necessary for trenches in a construction project. Some, but not all, of these items are listed below:

  • Proper Trench Shoring set up can make or break a project. Be sure that you are doing it the correct way, or have a professional complete the task. If you unsure what method to use, hydraulic shoring is the most common way to stabilize trenches.
  • A backhoe will make short work of digging. A backhoe can also help make clean, straight walls in the trench which will add to the integrity of the trench.
  • Construction harnesses can help prevent fall injuries, which are one of the most common accidents that occur at a construction site.
  • Objects like hammers and boards accidently fall in construction sites all the time. Hardhats won’t stop those accidents, but they’re reduce the damage.
  • Emergency kits for both minor wounds and life threatening situations are on-site essentials.

There are plenty of other things to consider when planning out a construction project besides trenches. Have a plan in mind, and when unsure about an issue related to safety, seek out professional help!

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