Ohio residents who work on construction sites encounter many hazards on the job. Trenches can pose great risks to a worker’s safety. It is important to understand what people can do to protect workers from a trench collapse.
Before digging a trench, people should make sure they thoroughly analyze the jobsite. TotalSafety.com says that people should note the location of utilities, both underground and overhead, and evaluate the physical condition of buildings near the trench. It is also important to determine the soil classification. Additionally, people should usually speak to a utility company to determine whether underground power lines are insulated.
According to Cleaner Magazine, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration outlines several situations that can be dangerous for workers in a trench. People should test the atmosphere in the trench to ensure there are no toxic or flammable gases. Equipment and piles of soil should also not be left at the edge of a trench, and fire hydrants, trees and street signs near the trench should usually be moved. Additionally, entrances and exits should typically be in protected areas and workers generally should be no more than 25 feet away from an exit when they work in the trench.
A trained inspector should also be on the construction site. This person should usually inspect the trench after any event that might be hazardous, such as a rainstorm, as well as before workers enter the trench each day, and the surrounding area should also be inspected. This inspector typically needs to be able to predict and identify hazards, as well as fix them.