A Quick Guide to Making Your Trenching Safe and Secure

13 September 2021

Construction projects typically carry out various activities for them to proceed optimally. One of the activities that contractors would often do is trenching.

Trenching is the process of excavating the ground, removing any dirt, and forming a narrow depression into the same area. This specific activity then generates trenches, which can be very useful for the installation of underground utilities like water and gas. Trenching is likewise intended to ensure that the repairs and maintenance of the utilities, drains, and sewers can be done properly.

Even though trenching is typically done by experienced contractors, additional steps must still be done to make it safe and secure. Here are some things that you can do for your trenching process.

Pinpoint Existing Utility Lines

One of the steps that you need to do when trenching is to pinpoint existing utility lines. The process of excavation during the trenching must be planned thoroughly to avoid damaging existing utility lines. During the planning phase, it is recommended for you to coordinate with local utility workers so that they can tell you the location of the utilities. The marking of underground utility lines can prevent catastrophic injuries that are caused by leaks, electrocution, and others.

Establish Protective Systems

Another step that you need to do whenever conducting the trenching process is to establish appropriate protective systems. These systems can ensure that cave-ins will be prevented, which can then protect the employees from being buried alive. Some activities that can generate various protective systems are sloping, benching, and shoring. Sloping is done to cut back the trench wall and generate a slope. Benching, alternatively, is done to create some steps. Shoring, ultimately, is intended to keep the ground in place while providing an extra protection layer by maximising a custom support system.

Perform Atmospheric Testing

Before resuming any activities in the trenches, you must first perform thorough atmospheric testing. This specific testing is needed if the depth of the trenches or excavation will go beyond four feet. Additionally, atmospheric testing is required if the surrounding area is historically known for the existence of toxic gases like carbon dioxide and methane. Once the presence of hazardous gases is confirmed, then you must secure some emergency rescue equipment pieces right away in case of any troubles.

Set Up Access and Exit Points

For your workers to enter and exit the trenches flawlessly, you must ensure that access and exit points will be set up. The access and egress points of the trenches may be filled with ladders or ramps so that workers can utilise them conveniently. These access points need to be at least within 25 feet of a worker all the time for the workers to remain safe.

Carry Out Regular Inspections

Ultimately, the trenches of your project must all be inspected regularly by a competent person. During the trenching inspections, the competent person must identify whether cave-ins and collapses may happen or not. The assessment of the trenches must be done before workers get to work. It must likewise be done whenever natural events have occurred and throughout the project.

If you need some help with the trenching process, you can call us at Melbourne Mini Diggers.