The Significance of Utilising a Protective System for trenching

August 9, 2021

For the construction industry, excavation is carried out by removing earth elements in the ground to effectively form a cavity. With the creation of a cavity, contractors can eventually create foundations, roads, and reservoirs that are needed by specific projects.

Different methods are available in conducting excavation. One of these methods is trenching. Trenching is the removal of dirt and other earth elements in the ground to form a narrow depression. Most trenches have lengths that exceed the depths of the ground. With their qualities, civil and engineering projects maximise trenching in laying underground infrastructure or utility lines. They likewise utilise trenching to form strip foundations. But for the trenching to be successful, it must be done safely.

Notable Dangers of Trenching

Trenching and other excavation methods must be done safely and appropriately as they can pose threats to the people on the project site.

One of the most notable dangers or hazards of trenching is cave-ins. Without any protective system, some portions of the excavated ground may collapse, which can then trap workers and lead to serious injuries or deaths. Another notable danger or hazard of trenching is the existence of hazardous atmospheric elements. Elements such as gas, vapour, and dust can be deemed harmful if they become too much for humans. Once the workers are exposed to these elements for a long time, they might start to feel some health issues that can affect their performance.

Other dangers or hazards associated with trenching include flooding or water accumulation, falling into the trench, contact with buried utility lines, and being struck by moving machines or falling objects.

Maximise Protective Systems

To effectively enhance the security and safety of trenches, contractors must maximise all available and applicable protective systems on their respective projects. Designing and planning protective systems for excavations are necessary so that most of the previously stated dangers and hazards will be mitigated.

Three common protective systems that contractors can use are as follows:

  1. Benching – This specific protective system can be done by creating a series of steps or horizontal levels in the vertical wall of the excavated areas. With benching, the wall height of the excavation will be reduced while ensuring stability. Benching can be often combined with battering, a protective system that slopes back the wall of an excavation.
  2. Shoring – Shoring, on the other hand, is done by installing a positive ground support system in an excavation. This protective system aims to stabilise the soil and prevent ground collapse. Shoring is typically done with trench excavation that has unstable ground conditions and cannot work with benching and battering.
  3. Shielding – Ultimately, shielding is a protective system that maximises a trench box or other support system. The support systems used for shielding are often manufactured from durable materials such as steel, ensuring that they can withstand earth forces or pressures. Shielding is guaranteed to protect workers from possible cave-ins.

If you are currently in need of professionals for trenching, you can contact us at Metro Pits. We have experienced staff that have skills and qualifications in horizontal boring and open trenching.

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