How to Avoid a Trenching Accident

How to Avoid a Trenching Accident
  • Author: Mahtab Idrees
  • Posted On: July 1, 2021
  • Updated On: July 3, 2023

Are you wondering how to avoid trenching accidents?

If you work in the construction industry, you know trenching is an essential part of any construction project. Trenches are a great way to protect gas lines, phone lines, water pipes, and more, while still having access to them.

However, if you are in the construction industry, you probably know how dangerous trenching can be. These accidents result in all types of injuries and about 25 fatalities every year.

Fortunately, avoiding a trenching accident can be as simple as following a few safety practices when trenching. If you are wondering how to stay safe while trenching, this short and simple guide is for you.

Understand the Trenching Hazards

The first tip for staying safe while excavating is to understand the dangers you are facing. You can be hurt by falling loads, cave-ins and collapses, hitting a gas line or an electrical line, slips and falls, equipment falling into the trench, and more. By being aware of the dangers you face, you can create a comprehensive plan to avoid them.

Locate Utility Lines Before You Start Digging

One of the best ways to stay safe in a trench is to locate the utility lines before you start digging. You can do this by contacting your state’s 811 agency and scheduling a time for them to come out and mark the lines.

Install Safety Signs

A great way to avoid a trenching accident is to install safety signs around the trench. The right signs can warn your workers and any passing pedestrians and help them avoid falling into the trench.

Provide a Safe Entrance and Exit

Another tip for staying safe while trenching is to provide a safe entrance and exit to the trench. If your trench is 4 feet deep or more, you need to install a ramp, ladder, or steps, to enter and exit the trench.

Inspect Your Trenches Daily

OSHA requires a “competent person” to inspect the trench daily for hazards and other unsafe working conditions. A “competent person” is someone on your team who has the knowledge and experience to identify existing and potential safety problems with your trench.

Protect the Trench Edges

A helpful tip for keeping everyone safe while on the ground is to protect the trench edges. You can do this by keeping heavy equipment away from the edges as well as installing protective systems. If you are wondering how to keep the trench edges safe, consider working with a quality company like JT Underground & Utility Construction Inc.

This Is How to Avoid a Trenching Accident

By using these tips, you can reduce your risks of experiencing a trenching accident.

Start by understanding the trenching hazardous you are facing. You should also locate utility lines before you start digging, install safety signs, and provide a safe entrance and exit to the trench. Make sure to inspect your trenches daily and protect the trench edges to stay safe.

Follow these tips to keep you and your workers safe while trenching.

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Author: Mahtab Idrees

Mahtab is all about lifestyle, home improvement, and interior decor trends. Her role as associate editor at ConstructionHow has helped her to offer genuine ideas, information, and intricate details about the special home editorial projects. As an interior designer by profession, she is solely focused on the latest trends and shares homeowner’s concerns as she also is a proud homeowner of two properties in mainstream locations.