EH&S Safety News

What's Wrong With This?
submitted by Jay Sedivy

Unsafe Trench!

unsafe job site, image courtesy of Jay SedivyThis is a picture of a trench that was opened as part of the UW’s continued effort to separate our storm water and sewer systems.  Regulations require provisions to prevent trench collapse and to provide a safe means of egress.  Specifically:

  • WAC 296-155-657(1)(a) requires excavations such as this trench be protected from collapse by using shoring, boxes (also known as shields), benching, or some other professionally engineered solution.
  • WAC 296-155-655(3) requires excavations have an engineered ramp, ladder, or other engineered safe means of access so personnel have a reliable means of exiting the trench quickly.
  • WAC 296-876-40030 requires that ladders extend at least three feet beyond the highest working surface.

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