Getting Down To Basics with Trenching

Ways to Safely Use Trench Boxes Trenches are quite common in many engineering and construction sites. They are meant for laying pipes, phone lines as well as lots of other constructions. While some are quite deep, others may be extremely shallow. Based on the soil’s quality, trench walls will not support themselves for long. A steel or aluminum trench box supports the trench walls to ensure it’s safe to work there without the danger of walls collapsing on equipment and people. Trench boxes are also called manhole boxes, tap boxes, sewer boxes, or trench shields. Pre-installation Before excavation commences, the site must go through a complete risk assessment to check for any potential risks, the employees needed and the equipment needed. The need for additional access is also looked at.
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Then the trench will have to be looked at. How deep does it need to be? How big should it be? Trenches of more than 5 feet require support either from shoring, sloping, or trench box. But if it’s more than 20 feet deep, a registered engineer is required to design the trench’s support. How will people enter the trench? It is by steps, ladders or a ramp? The trench needs to always be safe for access by workers within 25 feet, in emergency cases. The atmosphere inside the trench may also need to be tested for toxic gases or low oxygen levels. While trench boxes allow for simple installation, it’s not safe to pile boxes over each other.
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Taking care of the trench Inspect the trench support or trench box every day for any signs of movement and damage. All workers on the site need to wear their own protective gear, hard hat, steel-toed boots, high visibility clothing and so on. Be sure to keep heavy tools and equipment away from the trench’s edge. Excavation It’s probably easier to install a manhole box than extract it because of the moving earth in the area around the trench. It’s best to extract using a chain sling, through any of these 3 ways. Straight pull–this involves simply attaching a sling to two extraction/lifting points and lifting it out. Half pull–this involves attaching a sling to the side of a manhole box, lifting it as high as possible, switching the sling to the other side and repeating the action until the manhole box is removed. Single pull–this involves attaching a single chain sling leg to an extraction/lifting point and raising the panel corners in turns; once the manhole box moves easily, it’s taken out with the straight pull. In summary, trenches help save lives. They must be planned for and it’s a legal requirement to make use of them. Provided they’re well maintained and used, they do make work so much safer and easier.