Falling into a trench is a common hazard on private construction sites and in the public domain when your team may be tasked with repairing underground piping, internet cables, or laying deep foundations for a new building.
This creates a multi-faceted problem because while it is possible to make your staff aware of the potential dangers of falling into a trench, the public cannot be trained in the same manner.
Falling into a trench can have potentially life-threatening results, depending on how deep the trench is, especially if there is no one around to help the victim climb out and receive any necessary medical attention.
Therefore, it is imperative that you find a solution that is implementable in a variety of different situations. It has to be cost-effective, easily slotted into your existing work practices, and able to protect workers and the public from the majority of potential accidents.
This is what must be provided to prevent a person falling into a trench.
Understand the importance of safety when working in a trench
The first step to preventing people from falling into a trench during excavation work is to appreciate the importance of proper safety procedures in this scenario.
Without the proper respect for trench safety, you can easily neglect to put the correct preventative measures in place or even endanger yourself by taking unnecessary risks.
If you fall down a deep trench on a construction site, you stand a real chance of inflicting serious damage to yourself - such as torn muscles, broken bones, concussion, and heavy bruising.
Of course, it could easily end up being a lot worse than this, which is why you should always take care when trenching and excavating
Naturally, implementing proper trench safety procedures is also a matter of public safety.
If an unsuspecting member of the public walks past and ends up falling down into your trench, the results can be damaging not only to their health but to your company’s reputation.
Use a trench cover to prevent people from falling into the hole
One of the most effective ways to stay safe when working in trenches is to cover over the hole as much as possible.
Put simply, a trench cover is an anti-slip trellis that covers the hole, giving you the ability to walk over it with minimal chance of slipping into the trench.
While it is important to ensure that the trench cover is properly covering the hole to prevent the cover from falling in, this can easily be adjusted in under a minute.
This acts as a protective system, reducing the chances of an accident and ensuring that safety is at the forefront of your team’s mind.
Not only this, but it prevents you from purely relying on both your team and members of the public to follow warning signs, which may not always be clear enough.
This is particularly pertinent if you are contracted by utility companies, for example.
When you are instructed to replace underground utilities which are 10 feet deep, then you are likely digging a trench in a public place that is swarming with people. Having a trench cover allows you to proceed with your job without constantly trying to prevent people from walking into the trench.
Train your staff to follow standard safety procedures
Another great way to reduce the chances of someone falling into a trench is to train your staff on occupational safety and health procedures, to ensure they are following best practices at all times.
These procedures will depend on the exact scenario, but by training each employee properly, you will have peace of mind that there is a competent person on the job.
Whether using trench boxes to enter a trench, or constructing trench walls, there are many different approaches to take.
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