Cave-ins and slough-offs can be a major risk in the construction industry. Excavations and
trenches must be properly shored or cut back to an acceptable angle of repose; otherwise, there
will be a constant threat of a cave-in and the associated chance of injury or loss of life. A qualified
person must be involved in planning and inspections in order to have a safe excavation or trench
on a project.
Excavation and Trench Planning:
Unlike most accidents, the cave-in of an excavation usually can be predicted if
closely watched. It is, therefore, critical that a competent person keeps a close
eye on any excavation. Everyone should be removed from the excavation area
should it appear to be unstable.