All The Facts About Trench Shoring

Trench shield

There are many industries that go unnoticed in the modern world. Some of these unknown industries impact our lives every single day. One of those industries is reffered to as trench shoring. Trench shoring involves many of the foundations that support buildings and bridges. Considering the fact that there are 600,000 bridges in the United States, you more than likely have interactions with these bridges and thus trench shoring impacts your life.

The process of Shoring can be broken down into three different classes based on their supporting characteristics and/or their position in the space. They can be considered, Raking or Inclined Shores, Flying or Horizontal Shores, and Dead or Vertical shores. There are many different types of bridges that involve trench shoring on a foundational level. In the year 2015, the public sector spent $90 billion on highway construciton alone. By the year 2020, highway and road construction planned in the United States is projected to grow by about $99.4 billion.

There are two basic types of trench shoring, timber and aluminum hydraulic. Normally, trench boxes are used in open areas, however, they can be used with sloping and benching. Trench boxes should extend 18 inches above the surrounding area if it is sloping toward excavation. All this requres is simply providing a benched area adjacent to the box. This is one of the many different trench shoring methods.

In any trench more than 4 feet deep, you should test for atmospheric hazards, such as low oxygen levels or the presence of toxic gases and dangerous fumes. Make sure to pile all of hte excavated soil and any other material two feet away from the trench edges. Doing so will help stop any of the excavated material and equipment from falling into excavations.

Tension cracks will form at a horizontal distance of about 0.5 to 0.75 times the depth of the trench, measured from the of the vertical face of the trench. Any trench that is deeper than 5 feet will require a protective system, unless said excavation is made out of stable rock, and nothing else. Any trench that is deeper than 20 feet will require a protective system that is designed by a registered professional engineer or be based on tabulated data approved by a register professional engineer.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1970 to protect both the work environment provided by business owners and also the safety and health of all workers. Trench shoring is not a pretty industry and thus the OSHA has some regulations for trench shoring.

The OSHA defines an excavation as any mad-made cut, cavity, trench, or depression in the earth’s surface formed by earth removal. A trench can be defined as a narrow underground excavation that is deeper than it is wide, but no wider than 15 feet. The OSHA also requires safe access and egress to all excavations, which includes ladders, steps, ramps, or any other safe way for an employee to exit a trench of 4 feet or more. These tools or devices must be located within 25 feet of all workers for their own safety.

In conclusion, trench shoring is an industry that is not only underappreciated, but it is one that requires a serious approach to employee safety. Every day, a construction site manager must watch over the lives of his employees in order to make sure they return home to their family that night. If you are going to get into the business of trench shoring, then you should consult with an expert in the industry to make sure you have all of the bases covered.

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