Trench collapses generally occur due to unstable soil conditions combined with improper or inadequate shoring. The potential for additional collapse is considered a primary hazard to personnel. Removing soil or debris, adding weight near the edge of an open cut, vibration (such as vehicle movement), rain, or simply the passage of time, may cause additional collapse at any time during the rescue operation.
Trench rescue operations present a significant danger to rescue personnel and may involve complex requirements for shoring, hand tools, earth-moving equipment, and other specialised resources. The purpose of this document is to outline the safe and effective management of trench rescue operations, which often require special considerations.
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