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Home > Employee Relations > Safety Manual > Trenching, Shoring and Excavation

Part IV: General Rules
Trenching, Shoring and Excavation

OSHA citation 1926.650-652

  1. Barricade all open excavations and mark them with flashers.
  2. Excavated material must be shored or retained two feet or more from its edge. Banks of excavated material more than four feet high shall be shored or laid back to a stable slope. The sides of trenches in unstable or soft material of four feet or more in depth shall be shored to protect employees. If a trench is four feet deep or more, a ladder shall be provided for exit out of the ditch.
  3. If a cave-in or slide appears possible, necessary precautions must be taken to safeguard all employees.
  4. Check the excavation when a rainstorm or hazard-increasing incident occurs. Increase the amount of protection if necessary.

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Page updated: July 2006
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