Proper protection of trenches could prevent tragedy

Trench accidents are among the most frightening and deadly things that can happen during a California construction project. Because of this, OSHA has a very specific set of rules to govern these dangerous types of site excavations.

Thanks to regulations and improvements in engineering, trench accidents have become less frequent than they once were. However, unknown conditions, natural disasters and negligence on the part of certain responsible parties ensure that the problem is not completely eradicated.

Nobody can control accidents that arise from earthquakes or flash floods. Certain ground conditions could be imperceptible to standard detection methods. However, when a jobsite manager or construction company fails to perform their due diligence, or when they simply do not follow regulations, it could lead to preventable injuries.

According to OSHA, trenches are deep excavations that pose a higher risk of injury from certain types of catastrophic failure, most often cave-ins. Without proper reinforcement and protection, trenches have the potential to be very deadly places.

There are many ways one might protect the trench and attempt to prevent these types of incidents. According to Robson Forensic, an investigations firm, the solutions for properly protecting a trench range depending on the situation:

  • Sloping the walls
  • Reinforcing the whole trench
  • Protecting the areas where workers operate

Trench regulations serve an important purpose in preventing a frequently fatal accident on construction sites. Laying pipe, servicing sewer lines or doing foundation work becomes much safer with these guidelines in place. It is everybody's duty to make sure that following the rules is a top priority.

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