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Date PostedOctober 18, 2012

Trench Safety in Construction

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.


Steven Asnicar is regarded as a leader across many fields of industry. In particular, his specialisation across the health, infrastructure, construction, resource and utility sectors has seen him successfully change the dynamics of these industries through the introduction of new strategic, marketing, training and technical frameworks. Steven works closely with industry peak bodies such as Safework Australia, Australian Logistics Council, National Advisory for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (NATESE) and the Council of Australian Governments in the development of new delivery standards and industry specific programs.

Posted in General Construction, White Card, White Card Construction Site Safety Articles Tagged with: , , , ,


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