General Trenching and Excavation Rules
- Any and all encumbrances on the surface, outside the trench must be either removed or supported in order to make sure that they do not become a hazard
- Heavy equipment (including dump trucks and other vehicles) must be kept well clear of the edge of the trench (2 feet at the very least)
- You must determine where utilities (sewer, telephone, electricity, water pipes, septic systems, etc…) are located before you start digging
- Access and egress must be provided for any trench that is over 4 feet deep. The access and egress should be located so that the worker should have to go no more than 25 feet to get to it.
- Inspect trenches at the start of each shift and following a rainstorm
- If the trench is such that employees might be exposed to vehicular traffic, employees must use safety vests that are rated for it.
- Employees are never allowed under raised loads
- Monitors must be used to test for harmful gases as well as for the oxygen levels both before any workers enter the trench as well as while they are working in the trench
- Measures must be taken to remove water from the trench.