Trench and Excavations:
A trench is a horizontal or inclined way or opening:
- that commences starts at and extends below the surface of the ground, and that is open to the surface along its length
- the length of which is greater than its width and greater than or equal to its depth
For the purpose of emergency response, an excavation shall be defined by any depression, hole, trench, or earth wall, man made or natural, of 1500mm or greater
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.
This procedure is included in the JSEAsy safety management software Premium versions.
This procedure can also be purchased individually as a stand alone document.