Trench Rescue

(Source : Charlotte Fire Department Charlotte NC)

Quite often we hear of workers being trapped or injured while engaging in trench work. The biggest risk involved in trench work is that of the trench collapsing.

Working in wet conditions is one of the biggest causes of trench instability because as the ground becomes more moist it also becomes less stable. Poor stability combined with the work processes involved with construction such as use of heavy machinery can be a recipe for disaster.

Before engaging in trench work these risks should be taken into account. Workers should never engage in trench work unless supervised or in the presence of a co-worker who can raise the alarm if something goes wrong.

It is also important that work is planned in a manner that it can be safely conducted, including engulfment protection and site security requirements.

A safe work method statement (SWMS) must be designed for work involving mobile plant or trenches more than 1.5m in depth.

Building materials, plant and machinery should be kept away from the edge of the trench.

While more often than not the weather is the cause of trench accidents, human error can also be the cause which is why attention to the issue is so vital to worker safety.


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