Nearly every construction project is going to have trenches to build foundations, lay utilities, and hundreds of other things. The problem with trenches is they have a bad habit of caving in while workers are in them, sometimes resulting is serious injury or death. In the past, lots of workers died on large construction projects but today all trenches over a certain depth need to have shoring or a trench shield to protect the worker from harm. Failure to do so could result in large fines for the company or managers and a possible suspended permit. There are steel, stainless steel, and aluminum trench shoring products, each with its own benefits.
Trench Shoring Gives The Workers The Time They Need
Depending on many factors like soil composition, dampness, depth of the trench, and time, nearly all trenches will eventually start to cave-in. The actual time is hard to judge and conditions change with the weather as well. Even a slight miscalculation in the time could result in disaster so it’s always best to use some kind of shoring even on trenches that aren’t over the worker’s heads. Plus, there is always the chance that a worker will be kneeling to connect pipes or other tasks which make being buried more dangerous.
Using what is called a trench shield, shoring, or trench box will protect the workers and give them time to evacuate the trench in the event of a cave-in. Many times, if the cave-in isn’t serious the workers can just continue to work and finish their task when they are well protected. There are several advantages to certain types of shoring materials because of strength, durability, and weight.
Some Trench Boxes Are Easier To Use
Most of the time there will be a backhoe on-site that can lift up the trench box and lower it down into the hole, but in some cases, such as inside a building, that won’t be possible. In those cases the workers will have to assemble the box and using an aluminum trench box can make the job much easier because of far less weight. Steel pieces could weigh 50-75 lbs apiece and aluminum might weigh only 25-30 and the difference in strength is negligible.
Protection of workers is a high priority these days and trench boxes are part of that protection. It’s always safer to use them even if they’re inconvenient and time consuming, and your workers will thank you in the event of a cave-in.