Trench Shoring vs Trench Shielding What To Know


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Working in trenches and excavations is a dangerous task. Crew members work within walls made of earth, and the risk of cave-ins make up the main hazard. With proper safety measures, however, workers can stay safe and perform their jobs as efficiently as possible. The main safety methods pertaining to these jobs are trench shields and excavation shoring. While these are both safety methods, they have slightly different purposes.

Trench Shields

These safety tools are used to protect workers from potential cave-ins while they are working in the trench. Also called trench boxes, these come in different materials. Aluminum trench shields are a common option, as they are lighter in weight yet durable. If your team is looking into renting this option, be sure to look into different trench box sizes. You may have different needs depending on the scale of your job.

Excavation Shoring

Shoring differs from trench shields in that it actually holds the earth in place to prevent cave-ins. Especially in large scale excavations or in places with unpredictable soil, shoring is essential. There are various types of shoring for excavation depending on the size of the project and makeup of the earth, so be sure to choose the right one for your excavation.

Shoring and Shielding Safety Tips

  • Know OSHA’s Regulations: The number one safety measure that you can take for your team is understanding OSHA’s regulations on trenching and excavations. These guidelines are clear and specific and should be followed exactly.
  • Inspect Daily: The earth’s conditions can be unpredictable and change in an instant, so you should appoint a qualified crew member to inspect the area every day. This is especially important after rain or any severe weather. Also make sure that your aluminum trench shield or shoring system is structurally sound.
  • Educate Your Team: Be sure that your entire team receives regular training on trench safety. These refreshers will come in handy in the event of an emergency.

Be sure to be diligent and detail oriented when making your trenching and excavation safety plan. Letting anything fall through the cracks could be tragic for your crew members. Everyone should be on board with keeping the crew safe, so encourage workers to report any hazards. This accountability will pay off when the entire operation is finished accident-free.

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