Almost every month somewhere in the news you can read about a worker being injured or killed when a trench they were working in collapses. These injuries and fatalities are preventable with planning and proper execution of safety precautions. Last year throughout the country 8 workers were killed in excavations.
Trench collapses can occur without warning, regardless of the depth. The vast majority of trenching fatalities occurs in trenches 5- to 15-feet deep. These depths invite taking chances, and often times it is the good, safe-looking material that turns out to be the unsuspecting killer. But trench cave-ins don’t have to happen. The following information can help you avoid these potentially deadly accidents.
Make sure you know and follow the requirements:
Pre- Excavation Requirements:
• Coordinate with customer and other parties involved with the excavation.
• Call Miss Dig to locate any public utilities in the area.
• Follow site specific excavation procedures and forms.
• Any utilities that need to be locked out coordinate that with the customer to make sure that all utilities
are locked out in all locations so no utilities can be back fed
• Review Scope and any as- built drawings for the area where the excavation is taking place.
• Have a Pre- Job meeting to coordinate with other trades in the area
• Have a competent person review Soil Classification by MiOSHA Standards.
• Follow Ideal Contracting Pre- Excavation Checklist.
• Inspect all equipment prior to use and document it on an Ideal Contracting Daily Equipment Checklist
• Create a job specific Rescue Plan.
• Make sure all proper equipment is all on site prior to any Excavation.
• When Returning to the excavation make sure to have a competent person inspect the excavation for
any new hazards that could be brought on changing weather conditions and other trades in the area.