Benching and Battering to Prevent Ground Collapse: How Do Professional Excavators Do It?

11 March 2019

In the excavation industry, nothing is more important than ensuring that a work site follows all safety protocols. Any time that you are dealing with heavy machinery and deep trenches, you have to make sure that you are being as careful as possible. One of the most important techniques that an excavation team will employ is that of benching and battering. Benching and battering are absolutely vital to providing a safe working experience. Today, we are going to illuminate the importance of benching and battering as well as the rough mechanics behind the process. Hopefully, by understanding this process you will be able to ensure that your worksite is safe and secure.

Importance of Benching & Battering

Any time that you dig into the earth, you begin to create a trench. A trench is a type of excavation that is deeper at the bottom than it is wide at the top. As a result, you have to deal with all the soil that makes up the sheer sides of your hole. When not properly handled, this packed earth can become a real hazard to the people that are working in the trench. In extreme scenarios, cave-ins can occur and lives can be lost. For that reason, excavation teams employ battering and benching techniques. These techniques are vital to ensuring the safety of everyone on the worksite. Let’s look closely at what these techniques are as well as how they work.

1) Benching – Benching is the backbone of ensuring that your excavation site is completely safe. Benching your trench sides involves shoring up the wall with a horizontal brace. This brace helps to keep the soil in place while you are working and it is vital to preventing potential cave-ins.

2) Battering – While benching is a superficial way to address potential cave-in issues, battering is a structural decision. Battering is all about forming your side-walls at an angle that is slightly less than a natural angle. When you perform battering properly, you are able to prevent slippage from happening. Battering is to be used in conjunction with benching.

If you are going to be operating a worksite where excavations will be happening, you need to have someone who is trained and certified in all safety measures around. Being able to appropriately bench and batter your trenches are absolutely vital to performing in a safe manner on a worksite. Here at Melbourne Mini Diggers, we are always ready to help you with your excavation projects. Call us with your plans, and we can help you get through the entire process.