Excavation Safety II Safety

Excavation Safety II

Cave-ins are the greatest risk

Other hazards include:

  • Asphyxiation due to lack of oxygen
  • Inhalation of toxic materials
  • Fire
  • Moving machinery near the edge of the excavation can cause a collapse
  • Accidental severing of underground utility lines
  • Excavating is one of the most hazardous construction operations
  • Most accidents occur in trenches 5-15 feet deep
  • There is usually no warning before a cave-in


  • Excavation– aman-made cut, cavity, trench, or depression formed by earth removal.
  • Trench– a narrow excavation. The depth is greater than the width, but not wider than 15 feet.
  • Shield– a structure able to withstand a cave-in and protect employees
  • Shoring– a structure that supports the sides of an excavation and protects against cave-ins
  • Sloping– a technique that employs a specific angle of incline on the sides of the excavation. The angle varies based on assessment of impacting site factors.