BLR s Safety Training Presentations

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1 BLR s Safety Training Presentations Trenching and Shoring 29 CFR This training session is intended to provide general information about trenching and shoring. Of course each job site will be different and will require a different approach to protecting workers from trenching-related accidents. Please expand on this training by providing specific information about the preferred ways (i.e., shoring, shielding) your company protects employees from cave-ins. Who in your company determines the type of shoring or shielding to use, how it is to be used, and how it is to be installed? The personnel with that responsibility require training beyond this session. II. Speaker s Notes: In this training session, we will discuss the basics of trenching and shoring. Because each job is different, this session is intended only to provide a background of information on which to begin building your experience. This session will focus on: Trenching hazards Soil types and classification Shoring and shielding 1

2 A Trenching Tragedy! False sense of security! Knew they were out of compliance! Thought the soil was stable! Conditions changed overnight! A worker died Use this scenario as a way to open workers eyes about trenching hazards, safe work procedures, and a potentially dangerous thought process (false security). II. Speaker s Notes: This is an example of a scenario that led to a worker s death. A false sense of security was formed because the workers had been doing similar work for 20 years without a serious accident or death. They knew they were out of compliance with the trenching and shoring standard, but they probably planned to be in the trench for only a few hours and thought everything would be OK. They thought the soil was stable possibly because the trench was dug over 2 weeks ago and nothing had happened. Plus, other workers were in the trench just yesterday and nothing happened to them. It rained overnight. The conditions that seemed to create stable soil had changed. Now the soil was wet. The trench collapsed. They could not save their co-worker and he died. 2

3 Trenching Statistics! About 400 U.S. workers die in trench-related accidents each year! About 6,400 are seriously injured I. Speaker s Notes: These are frightening statistics related to trenching. This is why we need training on this topic. 3

4 Trenching and Shoring Goals! Hazards, soil, protective systems! Safe work practices and hazard awareness! Quiz I. Speaker s Notes: We will start this training session by discussing the hazards associated with working in trenches, types of soils, and systems used to protect employees from trenching hazards. Next we will discuss how to work safely in trenches and excavations. Finally, we will wrap up the session with a quiz. 4

5 What Is a Trench! A narrow excavation that is deeper than it is wide! No more than 15 feet wide at bottom! Walls will eventually fail Remember that shoring and shielding from cave-ins does not apply only to trenching situations. Many excavations, even when not defined by OSHA as a trench, still require some type of shoring to prevent the walls from falling in on workers. II. Speaker s Notes: OSHA defines a trench as a narrow excavation (in relation to its length) made below the surface of the ground that is usually deeper than it is wide. OSHA continues by defining a trench as an excavation that is not greater than 15 feet wide at its bottom. A rule to always remember about trenching: The walls will fail; we just do not know when they will fail. 5

6 What Is a Cave-in! Soil or rock that suddenly falls or slides into an excavation! Sufficient quantity to entrap, bury, injure or immobilize! Soil gravitates downward, pressure pushes soil inward toward the trench! Bottom third of wall typically fails first! Soil above the collapsed lower wall follows Discuss cave-ins that have been experienced by your company, whether or not the walls were supported or shielded. II. Speaker s Notes: The definition of a cave-in is when soil or rocks suddenly fall or slide into an excavation. The cave-in is dangerous when it includes a sufficient quantity of soil or rock to entrap, bury, injure, or otherwise immobilize a person. The weight of the soil causes it to move downward. The soil below will be forced to move sideways because of the pressure from the heavy soil above it, so it will try to move into the opening created by a trench. This down and inward motion causes the bottom third of a trench wall to typically fail first. Finally, the soil above the collapsed lower portion of the trench wall will also fail completing the cave-in. 6

7 Cave-in Injuries! Soil weighs 125 lbs. per cubic foot! A worker can be crushed by soil, rock, or an object! Suffocation even if worker s head is not buried, soil prevents chest expansion! Immobilized by soil s suction effect Discuss injuries that workers with your company have experienced from cave-ins. II. Speaker s Notes: Soil weighs about 125 lbs. per cubic foot. When wet, it can weigh as much as 145 lbs. per cubic foot. A worker can be crushed by the soil, a rock, or an object during a cave-in. Most people understand that a worker can suffocate if completely buried, but they do not realize that a worker can suffocate even when the nose and mouth aren't buried. If a worker is buried up to the neck, he still will probably suffocate because he won t be able to expand his chest. The soil puts over 800 lbs. of force on the chest and makes it almost impossible to expand and get sufficient breath. Soil creates a suction effect that makes it very difficult to rescue a person immobilized by a cave-in (even when not considering the danger of further cave-in). For example, it takes approximately 750 lbs. of force to remove a man s leg that is buried by soil. 7

8 Soil Classification! Grain size! Saturation! Cohesiveness! Unconfined compressive strength The classification of the type of soil must be done by a competent person who will probably conduct a number of field tests. Who in your company is designated to conduct these tests? If you have different types of soil available, bring them to the classroom and have a competent person demonstrate the different classification tests. II. Speaker s Notes: Using the following categories, soil is classified into different types that determine the kind of cave-in protection required. Only a competent and trained person can determine the soil type by using these classifications. Grain sizes are usually classified into four types: gravel, sand, silt, clay. Gravel is the least stable, and clay is the most stable. Saturation is the amount of water that the soil is currently holding. Complete saturation is much less stable than soil that is only slightly damp. However, soil with no water content is unstable. Cohesiveness is a test that determines how well the soil sticks together. The more it sticks together, the more stable the trench walls will be. The field test usually consists of rolling the soil in your hand, in the shape of a worm, and observing how and when it separates. Unconfined compressive strength determines how much weight per square foot the soil can withstand. This will determine how easily the soil will shear and cave in. 8

9 Soil Types! Type A (most stable) dense and heavy clay! Type B-silt, sandy loam, medium clay! Type C (least stable) gravel, loamy sand, soft clay I. Speaker s Notes: Remember that the type of soil often dictates the type of cave-in protection that is required. The most stable type of soil is type A. It is dense and heavy and consists primarily of clay. Type B has a medium level of stability and is made of soils such as silt, sandy loam, medium clay. The least stable soil is Type C, which consists of gravel, loamy sand, and soft clay. 9

10 Sloping and Benching! Sloping: angling of walls at an incline! Benching: series of steps to angle walls! Soil type determines angle of slope/bench Type A: 3 feet horizontal to 4 feet vertical (3/4:1) Type B: 4 feet horizontal to 4 feet vertical (1:1) Type C: 6 feet horizontal to 4 feet vertical (1-1/2:1) Benching not permitted for Type C soil Use examples to help employees understand the horizontal distance that the slope should be angled for the different soil types. For example, a 20-foot-deep trench in Type A soil needs a slope that extends 15 feet horizontally from the base of the trench. Discuss the ways your company uses sloping and benching systems. Are there situations in which your company combines sloping and benching systems? Describe them or bring pictures of different job sites. II. Speaker s Notes: The first type of trench or excavation protection system is sloping and benching. Sloping protects employees from cave-in by excavating the sides in the form of an incline. The angle of the incline required depends on soil type, environmental conditions, and external surcharge loads. Benching protects employees from cave-ins by excavating the sides of a trench in a series of horizontal levels or steps, usually with vertical or near-vertical surfaces between levels. Soil type determines the angle of the sloping or benching. Trenches that are greater than 20 feet deep require an engineer to design the slope or bench. Remember, benching is not permitted for Type C soil. Sloping and benching can also be used in combination, depending on the depth of the trench and the type of soil. 10

11 Shoring! Support walls designed to prevent cave-in! Usually built in place and designed by an engineer! Components include: uprights (sheeting), wales, and cross braces Bring in pictures of shoring systems that have been used by your company at different job sites. II. Speaker s Notes: Shoring uses support walls in trenches or other excavations to prevent a cave-in from occurring. Shoring is usually built in place and designed by an engineer. Shoring can be made from a number of materials; however, the most common is wood. Shoring typically consists of: Uprights, or sheeting, that are vertical members of a trench shoring system placed in contact with the soil. Wales are horizontal support members that are placed parallel to the excavation face whose sides bear against the vertical members (i.e., uprights) of the shoring system. Cross braces are horizontal support members that are placed perpendicular to the sides of the excavation and bear against either the uprights or the wales. 11

12 Shielding! Withstands forces of a cave-in and protects employees within! Permanent or portable! Trench boxes Does your company typically use premanufactured trench boxes, or do you build them at the job site? Bring in pictures of trench boxes being used by your company. II. Speaker s Notes: Shielding is a structure that is designed to withstand the forces of a cave-in and thus protect the employees within its structure. It is not designed to prevent a cave-in like shoring is; it is designed only to protect employees from a cave-in. Shielding can be permanent structures that are built on-site or they can be portable and moved along as the work progresses in the trench. Trench boxes are portable shields that can be built on-site in accordance with OSHA standards or purchased premanufactured. 12

13 Trench Boxes! Often designed to stack! Never use sheeting to extend the height! Can be used in conjunction with sloping and benching! No one permitted inside when being raised or lowered Discuss the capabilities of the specific trench boxes used by your company. Go over any safety issues or other concerns addressed by the manufacturer of your trench boxes. What are the proper procedures for your employees when raising, lowering, installing, or working inside trench boxes? II. Speaker s Notes: Trench boxes are often designed for stacking, which allows for additional height protection. Always stack in accordance with the manufacturers requirements. Never use sheeting to extend the height of a trench box. If a cave-in were to occur, the additional weight against the extended sheeting could cause the trench box to fail and collapse. Trench boxes can be used in conjunction with sloping or benching for deep trenches. Slope the top half of the trench walls according to the soil type. Start the base of the slope at least 18 inches below the top of the trench box. No one is allowed to be inside or under the load when it is being raised or lowered. 13

14 Trenching and Shoring Goals! Hazards, soil, protective systems! Safe work practices and hazard awareness! Quiz I. Speaker s Notes: Any questions about trenching hazards, the types of soil, or the types of protective systems? Next we will discuss how to work safely in trenches and excavations 14

15 Excavation Inspections! Inspections conducted before work starts, throughout shift, after rainstorm! Excavations inspected for: Evidence of possible cave-ins Indications of failure of protective systems Potential hazardous atmosphere! If hazardous condition found, workers are removed Describe your company s policy regarding inspections. Who is authorized to conduct the inspections? How often is an inspection conducted? Is the inspection documented? II. Speaker s Notes: Inspections are conducted by a competent person each day before the shift starts, during the shift, after rainstorms, or after any other occurrence that may impact the stability of the excavation. The excavations are inspected for hazardous conditions that include, but are certainly not limited to, evidence of a potential cave-in, indications of impending failure of protective systems (i.e., shoring, shielding, sloping), potential hazardous atmospheres. If any hazardous condition is discovered, an inspector has the authority to remove workers from the excavation until necessary precautions have been made to ensure the safety of the workers. 15

16 Signs of Soil Distress! Fissures or cracks on excavation face! Slumping of material from excavation face! Bulging or heaving of material at the bottom of excavation wall! The sinking of excavation s edge! Ravelling, or small amounts of material (i.e., pebbles) trickling into excavation I. Speaker s Notes: Soil distress increases the likelihood of a cave-in. Signs of soil distress include: Fissures or cracks Soil or rock slumping or falling into the excavation Bulging material at the bottom of the excavation wall that could mean the soil is about to come into the trench. The edge of the trench begins to sink. Small pebbles or clumps of dirt suddenly trickle or roll down the excavation wall. 16

17 Conditions Causing Soil Distress! Nearby vibrating machinery! Nearby heavy, moving loads! Seeping water or rain! Hot, dry weather I. Speaker s Notes: These are some of the conditions that can cause a protection system to fail or weaken and are signs that a cave-in is about to occur. Nearby vibrating machinery can vibrate the soil and cause it to settle down and inward toward the trench. Moving heavy loads, such as street traffic, near by will compress the nearby soil downward, which in turn will push soil inward toward the trench. Rain or water suddenly seeping into the trench indicates a changing soil condition and could result in reclassification of the soil type, which might impact the type of protection system needed. Hot and dry weather can also affect the stability of the soil. 17

18 Hazardous Atmospheres! Excavations near sewers, landfills, hazardous substances storage area! Test atmosphere when deeper than 4 feet! Ventilation or appropriate PPE! Rescue and emergency equipment Describe your company s procedures for checking for hazardous atmospheres in a trench. Who is qualified to conduct this check? What situations require a check for a hazardous atmosphere? II. Speaker s Notes: Often, when trenching near a sewer, landfill, storage area for hazardous substances, pipe systems used for fuel, etc., the atmosphere in the excavation might be hazardous. The atmosphere must be tested before workers enter an excavation that is deeper than 4 feet. Continue to test the atmosphere throughout the job to make sure it remains safe. Primarily test for oxygen content (19.5% to 23.5%). Other hazards include: explosive or flammable gases, poisons, corrosives, oxidizers, irritants, or toxic gases. The primary cure for a hazardous atmosphere is ventilation, until it passes the appropriate testing requirements. PPE (personal protective equipment) such as air purifying or air-supplied respirators may be necessary. Emergency and rescue equipment such as a breathing apparatus, safety harness and retrieval line, or a basket stretcher must be maintained at the job site if there is a risk of a hazardous atmosphere. 18

19 Falling Soil or Equipment! Protect workers from loose rock/soil that may fall from an excavation face Scaling to remove loose soil Protective barricades, such as shoring or shields! Protect workers from material or equipment that could fall into the excavation Keep material/equipment 2 feet from edge Use retaining devices I. Speaker s Notes: Obviously we want to protect workers from falling rock/soil, excavated material, and equipment. Protect employees from loose rock or soil by monitoring the sides of the excavation and scaling any loose soil from the sides before it has a chance to fall into the excavation. Or, you can use shielding or shoring devices to prevent loose dirt/soil from impacting workers. Material outside of the excavation could also fall into the excavation and crush workers. Keep excavated rocks and soil at least 2 feet from the edge of the excavation. Any equipment such as tools, water pumps, etc., should also be maintained at least 2 feet from the edge. A retaining device may also be used to keep material from falling into the excavation. 19

20 Adjacent Structures! Excavations might endanger stability of buildings, walls, other structures! Sidewalks, pavement not undermined unless supported to prevent collapse on excavation workers! Shoring, bracing, or underpinning used to ensure stability for employee protection Describe your company s policy regarding excavations near structures or underneath pavement. Do you require an engineer to look at every situation? II. Speaker s Notes: Excavations near building, walls, or other structures might endanger the stability of those structures. A professional engineer might be required to determine if the structure is stable and, if not, how it should be shored up or otherwise stabilized. Excavating underneath sidewalks, pavement, or any other structure that hangs over the excavation has a potential to collapse. Shoring, bracing, or underpinning must be used to stabilize any nearby structures or to prevent structure that hangs out over the excavation (i.e., sidewalk) from collapsing in on the workers in the excavation. 20

21 Water Accumulation! Workers have drowned in the water at the bottom of a trench or excavation! Never work in an excavation where water is accumulating without proper precautions! Special shoring or shield system! Water removal system! Use of safety harness and lifeline Describe your company s procedures and policies for working in excavations that contain water or in which water is seeping. II. Speaker s Notes: Water accumulating in a trench is very dangerous. Water seepage means that the soil is very unstable (type C). Workers have been known to drown in the water at the bottom of excavations. Never work in an excavation in which water is accumulating without taking adequate precautions, which include: Special shoring or use of a shield system Water removal system such as a pump. In this case, a competent person must continually monitor the water removal system to ensure ongoing proper operation. Workers in the trench wearing a safety harness and a lifeline. The lifeline should be continually monitored by someone outside the excavation. 21

22 Other Trenching Issues! Mark underground utilities! Stand away from lifting/digging equipment! Use of warning systems or barricades! Use hard hats I. Speaker s Notes: Make sure all utilities are properly marked before beginning any excavations. Use extreme caution when nearing the mark in case the mark is not completely accurate. When digging or lifting equipment is moving or loading/unloading soil, rock, debris, etc., stand away from the process to prevent any material from striking you. Warning systems (i.e., lights, alarms) or barricades are required if vehicles will be approaching or working near the excavation. Hard hats are required when in excavations to protect the head from falling soil, rocks, or other debris. 22

23 Other Trenching Issues (cont.)! Trenches 4 feet deep or more must have exit means within 25 feet of every worker! Use fall protection! Do not work on sides of sloped or benched excavation above other workers! Worker on top watches excavation walls to warn trench workers of potential hazards I. Speaker s Notes: Exit means include a ladder, stairway, or sloped ramp. Fall protection needs to be provided excavations to prevent workers or others from falling into the hole. Fall protection systems might include guardrails, barricades, covers over the excavation, etc. Do not work above other workers when they are not protected. You could accidentally drop something, cause soil or rocks to fall, etc., on the workers below. The worker on top is competent and knowledgeable in the hazards associated with trenching and shoring. This person also has the authority to stop the excavation and tell workers to exit immediately if any signs of a cave-in are noticed. 23

24 Trenching and Shoring Goals! Hazards, soil, protective systems! Safe work practices and hazard awareness! Quiz I. Speaker s Notes: Any questions on how to work safely in trenches and excavations? Let s wrap up the session with a quiz. 24

25 Summary! Cave-ins occur suddenly and can entrap, bury, or injure! Soils have varying stability that determines the appropriate protection! Always use protection systems! Be aware of signs of soil distress! Be aware of all the hazards associated with working around excavations I. Speaker s Notes: Here is a summary of the points we went over in this session. 25

26 Quiz 1. Describe two signs of soil distress:,. 2. Describe why a worker buried up to the neck would not be able to breathe:. 3. When working in a 4-foot trench, there must be an exit within 25 feet. True or False 4. Shielding is designed to prevent an excavated wall from caving in. True or False 5. Name a portable device used for shielding:. Remind employees that the quiz is to encourage further discussion and to help you, the trainer, be sure that everyone understands what was discussed. 26

27 Quiz (cont.) 6. How does water or rain impact the classification of soil? 7. Trenches near landfills may not contain enough oxygen to support life. True or False 8. Describe a way to protect trench workers from falling soil or objects: 9. Excavations need to be inspected only right after they are first dug. True or False 10. If you don t know the soil type, what slope angle should you use to be safe? 27

28 Quiz Answers 1. Signs of soil distress include cracks, slumping, bulging, sinking edge, or trickling pebbles. 2. The soil exerts about 800 lbs. of pressure on the chest, which prevents expansion. 3. True. 4. False. Shoring prevent cave-ins and shielding protects workers from a cave-in. 5. A trench box is a portable device that is used for shielding. 28

29 Quiz Answers (cont.) 6. Rain or water decreases the stability of soil. Saturated soil can be very unstable. 7. True. The trench might be filled with a heavy gas (from the landfill) that displaces oxygen. 8. Remove loose soil by scaling, provide protective barriers, keep material 2 feet from trench s edge. 9. False. Inspect excavations daily, throughout the shift, and after conditions change /2 feet horizontal for every vertical foot. So a 10-foot-deep-trench would slope out 15 feet. 29

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