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The most hazardous operation in the construction industry is trenching. Therefore, ensuring trenching safety is crucial for preventing injuries in construction. Though it's impossible to avoid trenching hazards as they play a vital role in civil engineering. But having some safety measures for protecting the workers is crucial. If you become careless or make mistakes, it could result in work crew's fatalities. So how can you keep your workers and job site safe in the possible conditions? In this writing, we will discuss the way of keeping trenching safe every time.

Protective System

The trench is a narrow underground excavation, and it is more profound than its width, and the wider area is not more than fifteen feet. However, the tracks work is hazardous, and it can lead to falling loads, cave-ins, accidents, hazardous atmospheres, and falls. All these problematic options include mobile equipment. If the trench is more profound than five feet, you should use the protective trenching system unless the excavation is done in stable rock. However, different protective systems are available, and the options are:

For the safety of your workers' crew and job site, you should take help from a registered professional engineer. A registered professional engineer can design the protective trenching safety strategies in the best way. If any trenches are more significant or more profound than twenty feet, then the professional engineer should design a defensive system for the job site.

In every protective system or trenching safety method, a trench guiding laborer operates the excavator, putting that operator at risk and in the most dangerous situation. However, the most common practice is the conventional method. Furthermore, because of technological advances, different companies can generate 3D utility networks. Moreover, the 3D utility networks enable the excavator operator to dig the hole without assistance from someone else.

3D utility networks are not a safe practice, but they also take less time and save time significantly in operation. However, substantially 3D models improve the earthmoving projects.

Safety First

You should not enter into an unprotected trench as it can lead to trenching fatalities, and therefore safety is the first consideration in this industry. However, one of the critical components in excavating and trenching standards is the competent person's requirement to conduct daily inspections on time on the site.

Only a competent person can recognize the predictable and existing hazardous, dangerous, and unsanitary conditions. However, the skilled person has the authorization to take corrective measures immediately to control the diseases. Moreover, they can eliminate all the probable trenching-related dangers by taking proper steps. Furthermore, the trenching safety means such as steps, ladders, or ramps should locate within 25 feet of working engineers and workers. Keeping the safety equipment within the range enable safe access for the workers. However, having trenching safety equipment improves the worker's productivity as well as safety.

Manufacturing systems advancement using site-specific engineering solutions and tabulated data improves the working conditions. However, even than trenching consists of risk always. Therefore, the professional contractors for each job site should choose the most protective and effective solution. However, the contractor should choose the defensive system carefully because the proverb" one size fits all" does not work, especially in trenching safety issues.

Competent Person's Role in Trenching Safety

A competent person is someone who has enough training to recognize the potential and existing worksite hazards. However, the qualified person also has the authority to take the corrective measures quickly to eliminate the hazardous risks. Moreover, the competent person for trenching safety need to conduct several tasks, and the charges include the following:

Soil Classification

Soil classification in trenching safety is essential as it helps to predict the worksite stability. However, the soil type and the amount of water contained can affect soil stability. Moreover, external factors such as heavy tools and equipment also affect trenching safety. Furthermore, the competent person should have the ability to recognize the external and internal risk factors and should have the ability to classify the type of soil.


Employers should learn and know much information about the Jobsite to make effective and efficient pre-planning trenching safety strategies. However, you can learn the Jobsite through test borings, on-site studies, consultation, or observation. Moreover, in pre-planning the safety measures, the employers should evaluate several factors, including:

Knowing the locations of telephone, sewer, electric, fuel, and water lines is extremely important. However, for confirmation of the utility line's site, you should contact the utility companies. Moreover, the contractor should directly consult with the utility companies whenever possible to ensure the proper insulation of the lines before beginning the digging.

Protective Systems for Trenching Safety

The employer can build protective systems at the worksites as trenching safety strategy. However, the location's potential hazards and specific conditions are critical determining factors in designing the defensive systems for trenching safety. Generally speaking, the protective systems prevent fatalities and cave-ins through benching, slopping, and supporting the excavation sides.

If any trench is not built-in stable rock and deeper than five feet, it should have a protective system to save the workers. However, the competent person should adequately inspect the protective systems before entering the workers on the site. Moreover, the workers should have training in recognizing the potential cave-in signs.

Top 5 Trenching Safety Hazards

Trench collapse is a serious threat to the safety of the workers, and a considerable number of workers face death because of this. However, a qualified professional engineer can prevent the trenching hazard by analyzing the job site, design, and soil composition. Moreover, the top 5 trenching safety hazards are: