There are many situations you will find on construction jobs where there becomes a need for deep excavations. These excavations might serve any number of purposes. Perhaps they need to redistribute the earth or maybe they need a large excavation to protect the site from weather and rain water or even a short term bridge.
Excavation support systems are built to become temporary earth-retaining structures. These earth-retaining structures allow the sides of an excavation to be cut at or very close to vertical.
When excavations have the potential to put lives or adjacent properties in danger, bracing to support the soil must be designed. This is where large excavation shoring shows its worth.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act, or OSHA, defines an excavation as any kind of a man-made cut, cavity, trench, or depression in the Earth’s surface that got made as a result of earth removal. To get even more specific in terms of measurements and numbers, a trench is defined as a narrow underground excavation where the excavation is quite a bit deeper than it is wide. It can also not be any wider than 15 feet if it wants to keep its distinction as a trench.
OSHA also requires that all trenches that are going to be deeper than five feet be shored. If you have a trench that is going to be 20 feet deep or more, you need to have that trenched designed by an engineer who is a registered professional. An excavation’s stability is exactly what large excavation shoring is designed to do.
One of the best reasons to feel safer about trench work these days is the lengths OSHA has gone to in order to make sure workplaces and construction sites are safe for the workers. OSHA requires a safe access to all ways in and out of trenches and excavations. Things like ladders, steps, ramps, or temporary road passages, or any other kind of safe means of exit must be within 25 feet of workers at all times.
The types of shoring that are done vary as much as one job site differs from another job site. Large excavation shoring is necessary largely because we want the workers to be as safe as they can be while on the job. The other reason that large excavation shoring is important is that life has to go on for everyone around the project when the project is disrupting commutes and access to daily life. Shoring in these cases keeps walkways, temporary bridges, temporary roads and other temporary structures in place until the completion of the project.
If you live in any major city in the United States, you have very likely been the recipient of the aggravation and almost perpetual inconvenience that is the construction of public roads and other public construction projects. This can’t be helped. Things need fixing and improving. But if it weren’t for large excavation shoring for the temporary ways to travel, things would be a lot worse.