Washington State University
SAFETY POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL

SHOP / AGRICULTURAL WORKPLACE SAFETY
3.46
Revised 3-11
Reviewed 6-13
Environmental Health and Safety
335-3041

Trench and Excavation Safety

PDF link

OVERVIEW

University units engaged in trench and excavation projects done by University employees are to protect employees, students, and the public from cave-ins and falling into trenches and excavations.

Employees and students working in trenches and excavations four feet or greater in depth must be protected from cave-ins by a protective system. See below.

NOTE: Trenches and excavations which are less than four feet in depth do not require employee protective systems unless indications of possible cave-in are present.

Responsibility

Supervisors and faculty are to comply with this policy and protect employees and students from hazards associated with trenches.

Employees and students are to comply with this policy and trench and excavation safety training information provided by University officials.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

Training

All supervisors, employees, and students working in or around trenches and excavations done by University employees are to be trained in trench and excavation safety procedures.

Contact EH&S to schedule trench and excavation safety training sessions.

Competent Person

Each trench and excavation project done by University employees requires a "competent" person to evaluate the project site for potential hazards. A competent person is someone who:

NOTE: Contact Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) for assistance in identifying a competent person or fulfilling the requirements to become a competent person.

The competent person is required to inspect trench and excavation project sites:

Responsibilities

The competent person supervises the following activities:

Sloping;
Aluminum hydraulic shoring;
Trench boxes; and/or
Registered engineered designed protective systems.