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30 Dec 2020

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Excavation standards, 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1926, Subpart P, contain requirements for excavation and trenching operations. – The Federal OSHA excavation standard – CFR 1926 Subpart P, Excavations • Course length: 30-40 minutes • Refer to your local state laws for more information. Operators may remain in the cabs of vehicles being loaded or unloaded when the vehicles are equipped, in accordance with §1926.601(b)(6), to provide adequate protection for the operator during loading and unloading operations. Guardrails which comply with 1926.502(b) shall be provided where walkways are six (6) feet or more above lower levels. The employer must comply with the trenching and excavation requirements of 29 CFR 1926.651 and 1926.652 or comparable OSHA-approved state plan requirements. This process must be carried out prior to the selection of the manufacturer shoring or open-cut sloping for the given project. Excavation below the level of the base or footing of any foundation or retaining wall that could be reasonably expected to pose a hazard to employees shall not be permitted except when: A support system, such as underpinning, is provided to ensure the safety of employees and the stability of the structure; or, A registered professional engineer has approved the determination that the structure is sufficently removed from the excavation so as to be unaffected by the excavation activity; or. Test for low oxygen, hazardous fumes and toxic gases. 1926.651(g)(1)(i) 5 FEET For excavations less than 5 feet in depth do not require protective system if competent person examines and determines there is no potential for a cave-in. This website is not the official or final authority to determine OSHA compliance responsibilities, which are set forth in OSHA standards themselves, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Workers should keep heavy equipment away from trench edges, keep surcharge loads at least 2 feet from trench edges and never work under raised loads. Sandy Clay loam having … It does not impose any new compliance requirements. While the excavation is open, underground installations shall be protected, supported or removed as necessary to safeguard employees. OSHA standards on trenching and excavation require your employer to designate a competent person to inspect the trenching operations. Emergency rescue equipment, such as breathing apparatus, a safety harness and line, or a basket stretcher, shall be readily available where hazardous atmospheric conditions exist or may reasonably be expected to develop during work in an excavation. The estimated location of utility installations, such as sewer, telephone, fuel, electric, water lines, or any other underground installations that reasonably may be expected to be encountered during excavation work, shall be determined prior to opening an excavation. This equipment shall be attended when in use. All surface encumbrances that are located so as to create a hazard to employees shall be removed or supported, as necessary, to safeguard employees. Exposure to vehicular traffic. One of our readers recently asked about rescue requirements in excavations. Benching is a similar method to sloping. The precautions necessary to protect employees adequately vary with each situation, but could include special support or shield systems to protect from cave-ins, water removal to control the level of accumulating water, or use of a safety harness and lifeline. Means of egress from trench excavations. A walkway across an excavation must be at least 50 cm (20 in) wide, and if crossing an excavation over 1.2 m (4 ft) deep, be equipped with guardrails, meeting the requirements of Part 4 (General Conditions), on both sides. For excavations more than 4 feet deep, there needs to be a way to enter and exit the work area at least every 25 feet via a ladder, ramp, or other sturdy device. These devices must be located within 25 feet (7.6 meters) of all … When creating a hazard to employees, these must be removed or supported as necessary to safeguard employees working in the area : Surface encumbrances Before excavation work can begin, it is necessary to determiine the location of these … Employees exposed to public vehicular traffic shall be provided with, and shall wear, warning vests or other suitable garments marked with or made of reflectorized or high-visibility material. Employees shall not work in excavations in which there is accumulated water, or in excavations in which water is accumulating, unless adequate precautions have been taken to protect employees against the hazards posed by water accumulation. The voice phone is (202) 693-1999; teletypewriter (TTY) number: (877) 889-5627. http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/ index.html. OSHA Excavation Standards. OSHA requires safe access and egress to all excavations, including ladders, steps, ramps, or other safe means of exit for employees working in trench excavations 4 feet (1.22 meters) or deeper. Source: OSHA Where the competent person finds evidence of a situation that could result in a possible cave-in, indications of failure of protective systems, hazardous atmospheres, or other hazardous conditions, exposed employees shall be removed from the hazardous area until the necessary precautions have been taken to ensure their safety. OSHA standards require safe access and egress to all excavations, including ladders, steps, ramps, or other safe means of exit for employees working in trench excavations 4 feet (1.22 meters) or deeper. Inspections shall also be made after every rainstorm or other hazard increasing occurrence. four, twenty five. 1926.651 - Specific Excavation Requirements. These inspections are only required when employee exposure can be reasonably anticipated. Structural ramps used in lieu of steps shall be provided with cleats or other surface treatments on the top surface to prevent slipping. This could include spoils that could fall into the trench and bury the workers. Per OSHA the following standards are required written safety plan or procedures: 18 for general industry and 10 written construction safety plan requirements for the construction industry. Walkways shall be provided where employees or equipment are required or permitted to cross over excavations. Structural ramps used for access or egress of equipment shall be designed by a competent person qualified in structural design, and shall be constructed in accordance with the design. Which of the following is a Type B soil? Excavations that have a depth of _____ feet or more must have a way to enter the excavation. Keep heavy equipment away from trench edges. The OSHA excavation standards apply to any open excavation on Earth’s surface. Excavation inspections are required before work starts, during work shifts, and after rainstorms. OSHA requires that workers in trenches and excavations be protected, and that safety and health programs address the variety of hazards they face. Means of egress must be positioned within _____ feet of employees. An excavation is any man-made cut, cavity, trench, or depression in an earth surface formed by earth removal. These devices must be located within 25 feet (7.6 meters) of all workers. firing employees for not complying with safety rules. When utility companies or owners cannot respond to a request to locate underground utility installations within 24 hours (unless a longer period is required by state or local law), or cannot establish the exact location of these installations, the employer may proceed, provided the employer does so with caution, and provided detection equipment or other acceptable means to locate utility installations are used. Trench collapses, or cave-ins, pose the greatest risk to workers' lives. If water is controlled or prevented from accumulating by the use of water removal equipment, the water removal equipment and operations shall be monitored by a competent person to ensure proper operation. These precautions include providing proper respiratory protection or ventilation in accordance with subparts D and E of this part respectively. Another legal requirement is to notify utility owners in the vicinity of an excavation prior to beginning the activity. Know where underground utilities are located. OSHA requires a safe means of access or egress – such as ladders, steps and ramps – to be located within 25 feet of all workers for excavations 4 feet or deeper. The following hazards cause the most trenching and excavation injuries: No Protective System; Failure to Inspect Trench and Protective Systems; Unsafe Spoil-Pile Placement; Unsafe Access/Egress; Show/Hide All. False. OSHA requires you to provide safe access and egress to all excavations, including ladders, steps, ramps, or other safe means of exit for employees working in trench excavations 4 feet (1.22 meters) or deeper. If an excavation is a hazard to workers, it must be effectively covered or guarded. Excavation and trenching are among the most hazardous construction operations. Sidewalks, pavements, and appurtenant structure shall not be undermined unless a support system or another method of protection is provided to protect employees from the possible collapse of such structures. Ladders must be provided as a means of exit when employees are required to be in trenches 4 or more feet deep (29 CFR 1926.652(h)). Adequate precautions shall be taken to prevent employee exposure to atmospheres containing less than 19.5 percent oxygen and other hazardous atmospheres. An inspection shall be conducted by the competent person prior to the start of work and as needed throughout the shift. In typical cases, the construction employer is required to classify the type of soil as per the OSHA Soil Classification. OSHA recently revised Subpart P, Excavations, of 29 CFR 1926.650, 29 CFR 1926.651, and 29 CFR 1926.652 to make the standard easier to understand, permit the use of performance criteria where possible, and provide construction employers with options when classifying soil and selecting employee protection methods. Warning system for mobile equipment. Workers should keep heavy equipment away from trench edges, keep surcharge loads at least 2 feet from trench edges and never work under raised loads. This is one in a series of informational fact sheets highlighting OSHA programs, policies or standards. Trench (Trench excavation) means a narrow excavation (in relation to its length) made below the surface of the … Adequate protection shall be provided to protect employees from loose rock or soil that could pose a hazard by falling or rolling from an excavation face. OSHA has made reducing trenching and excavation hazards the Agency's Priority Goal. 20.89 Excavation crossings. OSHA defines an excavation as any man-made cut, cavity, trench, or depression in the earth�s surface formed by earth removal. If excavation work interrupts the natural drainage of surface water (such as streams), diversion ditches, dikes, or other suitable means shall be used to prevent surface water from entering the excavation and to provide adequate drainage of the area adjacent to the excavation. No employee shall be permitted underneath loads handled by lifting or digging equipment. [54 FR 45959, Oct. 31, 1989, as amended at 59 FR 40730, Aug. 9, 1994], Occupational Safety & Health Administration, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Severe Storm and Flood Recovery Assistance. The OSHA standard requires you to provide support systems such as shoring, bracing, or underpinning to ensure that adjacent structures such as buildings, walls, sidewalks, or pavements remain stable. Structural ramps and runways must be designed by a qualified person . Inspectors are the enforcement arm of the Ministry of Labour; their role includes the following: inspection of workplaces; issuing of orders where there is a contravention of OHSA or its regulations; investigation of accidents and work refusals ; resolution of disputes; recommendation of prosecution. U.S. Department of Labor  |  Occupational Safety & Health Administration  |  200 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20210. Sloping involves cutting back the trench wall at an angle that is inclined away from the work area of the excavation. A registered professional engineer has approved the determination that such excavation work will not pose a hazard to employees. Testing and controls. The angle of slope required depends on the soil conditions. Excavation and trenching are among the most hazardous construction operations. All of the following are OSHA's most cited violations in excavations, except. OSHA requires a safe means of access or egress – such as ladders, steps and ramps – to be located within 25 feet of all workers for excavations 4 feet or deeper. When excavation operations approach the estimated location of underground installations, the exact location of the installations shall be determined by safe and acceptable means. On a daily basis, a competent person must perform these inspections. Surface encumbrances. The standard also prohibits excavation below the base or footing of any foundation or retaining wall unless: Means of egress from trench excavations. Ramps and runways constructed of two or more structural members shall have the structural members connected together to prevent displacement. Such protection shall consist of scaling to remove loose material; installation of protective barricades at intervals as necessary on the face to stop and contain falling material; or other means that provide equivalent protection. We did some searching and found an interesting Letter of Interpretation (LOI) from OSHA that explains when rescue provisions are required during trenching operations. Excavation workers are exposed to many hazards, but the chief hazard is danger of cave-ins. Protection from hazards associated with water accumulation. OSHA requires that in all excavations employees exposed to potential cave-ins must be protected by sloping or benching the sides of the excava- tion, by supporting the sides of the excavation, or by placing a shield between the side of the excavation and the work area. “A protective system is not required to be utilized in an excavation unless it is at least five (5) feet … You must be protected from equipment or materials that could fall or roll into excavations. Federal OSHA standard 1926.651(l) states that “Walkways shall be provided where employees or equipment are required or permitted to cross over excavations. For a comprehensive list of compliance requirements of OSHA standards or regulations, refer to Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This information will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. No Protective System. These devices must be located in the excavation within 25 feet (7.62 meters) of all workers. 1926.651 (d) Exposure to vehicular traffic. Keep surcharge loads at least 2 feet (0.6 meters) from trench edges. Here are some other requirements to follow: Protection of employees from loose rock or soil. A stairway, ladder, ramp or other safe means of egress shall be located in trench excavations that are 4 feet (1.22 m) or more in depth so as to require no more than 25 feet (7.62 m) of lateral travel for employees. Employees shall be protected from excavated or other materials or equipment that could pose a hazard by falling or rolling into excavations. All of the following are requirements for an excavation "Competent" person except _____. Structural ramps that are used solely by employees as a means of access or egress from excavations shall be designed by a competent person. Inspect trenches at the start of each shift. When mobile equipment is operated adjacent to an excavation, or when such equipment is required to approach the edge of an excavation, and the operator does not have a clear and direct view of the edge of the excavation, a warning system shall be utilized such as barricades, hand or mechanical signals, or stop logs. In addition to the requirements set forth in subparts D and E of this part (29 CFR 1926.50 - 1926.107) to prevent exposure to harmful levels of atmospheric contaminants and to assure acceptable atmospheric conditions, the following requirements shall apply: Where oxygen deficiency (atmospheres containing less than 19.5 percent oxygen) or a hazardous atmosphere exists or could reasonably be expected to exist, such as in excavations in landfill areas or excavations in areas where hazardous substances are stored nearby, the atmospheres in the excavation shall be tested before employees enter excavations greater than 4 feet (1.22 m) in depth. Utility companies or owners shall be contacted within established or customary local response times, advised of the proposed work, and asked to establish the location of the utility underground installations prior to the start of actual excavation. Employees entering bell-bottom pier holes, or other similar deep and confined footing excavations, shall wear a harness with a life-line securely attached to it. OSHA has its own requirements for this, and the standard also indicates that state and/or local government may have additional requirements that must be adhered to. Protection shall be provided by placing and keeping such materials or equipment at least 2 feet (.61 m) from the edge of excavations, or by the use of retaining devices that are sufficient to prevent materials or equipment from falling or rolling into excavations, or by a combination of both if necessary. Where the stability of adjoining buildings, walls, or other structures is endangered by excavation operations, support systems such as shoring, bracing, or underpinning shall be provided to ensure the stability of such structures for the protection of employees. A full-time safety official should be appointed for larger and more complex operations. If possible, the grade should be away from the excavation. Before starting work, the Excavation standards require employers to do the following: ■Determine the approximate location(s) of utility installations — including sewer, telephone, fuel, electric, and water lines. Cleats or other appropriate means used to connect runway structural members shall be attached to the bottom of the runway or shall be attached in a manner to prevent tripping. The lifeline shall be separate from any line used to handle materials, and shall be individually attended at all times while the employee wearing the lifeline is in the excavation. ROCO TECH PANEL ANSWER: The following is from OSHA LOI in regards to this answer. 1926.652(a)(1)(ii) 6 FEET Guardrails are required … Daily inspections of excavations, the adjacent areas, and protective systems shall be made by a competent person for evidence of a situation that could result in possible cave-ins, indications of failure of protective systems, hazardous atmospheres, or other hazardous conditions. Adequate precaution shall be taken such as providing ventilation, to prevent employee exposure to an atmosphere containing a concentration of a flammable gas in excess of 20 percent of the lower flammable limit of the gas. OSHA standards require that employers provide workplaces free of recognized hazards. Temporary protective structure . Excavations subject to runoff from heavy rains will require an inspection by a competent person and compliance with paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this section. Exposure to falling loads. A stairway, ladder, ramp or other safe means of egress shall be located in trench excavations that are 4 feet (1.22 m) or more in depth so as to require no more than 25 feet (7.62 m) of lateral travel for employees. The class is based on the requirements of Subpart P of the Federal OSHA CFR 1926 construction standards for trenching and excavations. The employer must comply with the trenching and excavation requirements of 29 CFR 1926.651 and 1926.652 or comparable OSHA-approved state plan requirements. The OSHA excavation standards need a competent person to evaluate and classify rocks and soil deposits on the surface, i.e. When excavations are subjected to vibrations from highway traffic, additional precautions must be taken to prevent cave-ins (29 CFR 1926.652 (e)). Structural members used for ramps and runways shall be of uniform thickness. However, we also address nuances that may appear in state OSHA regulations regarding their excavation standards, where applicable. 4 FEET Excavations greater than 4 feet, the atmosphere must be tested if oxygen deficiency or hazardous atmosphere does, or is reasonable expected, to exist. When controls are used that are intended to reduce the level of atmospheric contaminants to acceptable levels, testing shall be conducted as often as necessary to ensure that the atmosphere remains safe. The evaluation of soil conditions and structure is crucial to safe operation in and around excavations, therefore an excavation requirement was included in the construction standard, which was among the first promulgated by OSHA in 1971.2In that standard, soils were classified into three types called running, unstable, and hard compact. In situations where the potential for a hazardous atmosphere exist inside an excavation, such as those listed above, Federal OSHA’s excavation standard 1926.651 (g) requires that the atmosphere be tested before employees enter excavations greater than four (4) feet in depth. Guardrails which comply with §1926.502(b) shall be provided where walkways are 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels. OSHA requires inspection of the excavation site and adjoining areas for possible cave-ins, failures of protective equipment and systems, hazardous atmospheres, and other hazardous conditions. A trench is defined as a narrow underground excavation that is deeper than it is wide, and is no wider than 15 feet (4.5 meters). OSHA Training Requirements - Excavations. Employees shall be required to stand away from any vehicle being loaded or unloaded to avoid being struck by any spillage or falling materials. These standards help reduce or prevent risks of excavation-related and cave-in incidents. 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