3 Types of Trenching Protective Systems

Trenching plays a central role in many construction projects. Without trenching services, it is impossible to install utility lines or a plumbing system properly. This process involves removing dirt to form a narrow depression in the ground.

Some trenches are short, while others can stretch on for miles. No matter what size you anticipate your trench will be, safety should be a top concern when engaged in trenching services. A trenching protective system must be employed to protect workers against a cave-in during this process. Here is a closer look at your options.

1. Sloping and Benching

Sloping and benching are among the most common protective systems used in small-scale trenching. Sloping is the process of cutting into the trench wall to create a sloped angle. This slope can keep trench walls more stable, helping to reduce the risk of a cave-in. Benching also involves cutting into the trench wall. Instead of cutting a sloped angle, benching requires the cutting of steps into the trench wall. Both sloping and benching can protect workers when used individually or in tandem with one another.

2. Shoring

Sloping and benching are not always viable options. Trenching that takes place in a narrow area must rely on shoring for safety instead. Shoring involves the construction of a framing system that helps support the walls of the trench. This framing system can be made from wood timbers, mechanical parts, or a hydraulic system. The framing system holds the soil firmly in place while workers are inside the trench. This prevents the trench from collapsing and protects workers against serious injury or death.

3. Trench Shields

Trench shields, which are sometimes referred to as trench boxes, are a unique type of protective system. Trench shields are not meant to prevent a cave-in or collapse inside the trench. Instead, the shield is designed to protect workers in the event that a cave-in or collapse occurs by acting as a physical barrier.

A trench shield is also a great protective system for large trenching projects. It can be time-consuming to slope, bench, or frame a continuous trenching project. They can easily be moved from one section of the trench to the next as work progresses.

An understanding of the most effective protective systems used during the trenching process is vital. This information will help you select the system best suited to protect the individuals providing trenching services on your project.