A Quick Overview of Trenching and How to Make it Safe

24 February 2022

Construction and mining industries would maximise excavations to complete specific activities. The construction industry, for instance, utilises excavations so they can create foundations and roads. Excavations are also used to bury utility lines so they can be protected from weather elements. The mining industry, alternatively, uses excavations to gain access to raw materials.

One form of excavation that industries use is the trench. A trench is an excavation that is significantly deeper than the regular depressions in the ground.

An Overview of Trenches

Excavations are generally wide in dimensions. Trenches, on the other hand, are deeper. Therefore, trenches should have some support effectively to prevent cave-ins and other accidents.

Trenches possess multiple parts that make them functional and stable. The sides of the trenches are comprised of their faces, while the bottom serves as their base. The spoil pile, which is often placed on the surface, is comprised of all excavated materials from the ground. The surcharge load, alternatively, is any weight on the surface that adds extra stress to the sides or walls of the trenches. Bedding, ultimately, is a material installed around a pipe or other similar components before backfilling. It can be made from sand, gravel, or finely crushed rock.

There are different shapes of trenches that industries can use. They should, however, consider the type of soil of the ground, the size of the pipes or conduits, the availability of shielding or shoring, and the location of buildings and utilities in choosing the right type of trench.

Keep the Trenches Safe

Several practices and activities can be done to make trenches safe.

Before trenches are formed, contractors have to ensure that the underground utilises are marked and de-energised. Employees must also be advised about safe operating procedures and safety regulations to prevent injuries throughout their stay.

As the excavation of the trenches starts, contractors should make sure that they are supported by bracing, caging, or shoring. The bracing, caging, or shoring for the trenches should not only support the excavations but must also handle the weight and pressure from mobile equipment or mobile cranes. They must also be checked and certified by an engineer. Air testing is likewise necessary for trenches to see if they are safe for employees. Proper illumination, warning lights, and other protective measures must be present in and around the trenches.

Inspections, ultimately, must be carried out to trenches and temporary protective structures all the time to verify if potential hazards, defects, and issues are present.

Trenching by Professionals

If you have projects that require trenching, you can call us at Melbourne Mini Diggers. Our Dingos are excellent at trenching and can easily compete with larger machines. They can even outperform all pedestrian trenchers. Once the electrician or plumber has completed their task, we can remain on-site to backfill the trench. We gladly offer our trenching services from Metro Melbourne to the Ballarat area.