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Excavation, Trenching, and Soil Mechanics

Excavation, Trenching, and Soil Mechanics. Subpart P. Call Before you dig!!!!!!!. Call One Call 72hrs. Before any excavation begins!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s the LAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. This Training!!!!.

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Excavation, Trenching, and Soil Mechanics

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  1. Excavation, Trenching, and Soil Mechanics Subpart P

  2. Call Before you dig!!!!!!! Call One Call 72hrs. Before any excavation begins!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s the LAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. This Training!!!! This training DOES NOT!!!!!! certify you as a competent person. A competent person would require specialized training in soil classification, trenching and excavation and experience. This training is for the individual involved with excavation and trenching work and gives an overview of their work to increase awareness with trenching and excavation safety.

  4. Points To Be Covered: • 1926.650: Scope and Application • 1926.651: Specific Excavation Requirements • 1926.652: Requirements for Protective Systems • 1926 Subpart P Appendix A: Soil Classification • Other Appendix and Tabulated Data!

  5. DANGER!

  6. Dangers of Excavation and Trenching • Each year - 70+ fatalities - 1,000+ injuries Related to excavation and trenching operations

  7. Fatal Facts! • An employee was installing a small diameter pipe in a trench 3’ wide, 12-15’ deep and 90 feel long. The trench was not sloped or shored nor was there a box or shield to protect the employee. Further, there was evidence of a previous cave-in. The employee apparently reentered the trench, and a second cave-in occurred, burying him. He was found face down in the bottom of the trench.

  8. Four employees of a mechanical contractor were laying a lateral sewer line at a building site. The foreman, a plumber by trade, and a laborer were laying an eight-inch, 20-foot long plastic sewer pipe in the bottom of a trench 36 inches wide, nine feet deep, and approximately 50 feet long. The trench was neither sloped nor shored, and there was water entering it along a shale seam near the bottom. The west side of the trench caved in near the bottom, burying one employee to his chest and completely covering the other. Rescue operations took two and five hours - too late to save the men.

  9. 1926.650Scope and Application • “This subpart applies to all open excavations made in the earth’s surface. Excavations are defined to include trenches.”

  10. What Is Soil? • A soil is a mixture of rock, water, air and a variety of other substances. • Soil is made up of rock in the form of small particles and spaces called voids. Normally some part of these voids are filled with water.

  11. Weighing in on Soil… Solid Rock weighs about 167 lbs. Per cubic foot. Since a cubic foot of soil is about ½ that rock it will weigh about 83 lbs. Add in water and the weight begins to rise to around 114 lbs. (if saturated). Do the math and a simple cubic yard of soil can weigh over 3000 lbs! That is 1 and ½ of a ton.

  12. Conditions that Increase the chances of a Cave In • Lack of, or to much moisture • Additional weight of - spoil pile - tools or equipment • Unsupported faces • Unsupported structures

  13. Mechanics of a Cave-In

  14. Diagram of a cave in

  15. Look for Potential Problems • Fissures • Cracking • bulging or separation of soil • Surface water near excavation • Water accumulation in excavation • Soil that has been previously disturbed

  16. Protecting Employees in Excavations • 1926.652 (a)(1) • “Each employee in an excavation shall be protected from a cave-ins by an adequate protective system designed in accordance with paragraph (b) or (c) of this section except when: • (I) Excavations are made in entirely stable rock; or • (ii) Excavations are less than 4’ in depth and examination of the ground by a competent person provides no indication of a potential cave-in.”

  17. Protective Systems • “a method of protecting employees from cave-ins, from material that could fall or roll from an excavation face or into and excavation, or from the collapse of adjacent structures. Protective systems include support systems, sloping and benching systems, shield systems, and other systems that provide the necessary protection”

  18. What are our Options? • Sloping, or Benching • Use support systems in accordance with requirements set forth in the standard. • Purchase an engineered system, (example..a trench box or shield.) • Have a PE design a shielding or shoring system specific to your task.

  19. 29 CFR 1926.652(b)(4)(i) • Design by a registered professional engineer… • Any system not found within the guidelines set forth in the standard, or within the tabulated data tables in the standard requires use of a Professional Engineer. • *No where in the standard or tabulated data does it allow for excavations deeper than 20 feet.

  20. Competent Person • “one who is capable of classifying soils, identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings, or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has the authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them” • (Knowledge &Authority)

  21. 1926.651(k)(1)Inspections • Daily Inspection of excavations shall be conducted by a ‘competent person’ prior to the start of work and as needed throughout the shift. • Inspections shall also be conducted after every rainstorm or other hazard increasing occurrence.

  22. Access and Egress1926.651 (c)(2) • “A stairway, ladder, ramp or other safe means of egress shall be located in trench excavations that are 4’ or more in depth, and at a distance to require no more than 25’ of lateral travel for employees to use ladders or egress and is in clear view of occupants at all times.”

  23. Soil Tests • 1926 Subpart P appendix A, Soil Classification (c)(3) • In order to classify a soil as Solid Rock, A, B, or C at least one visual and one manual test must be performed by a competent person.

  24. Visual Test • “Visual analysis is conducted to determine the qualitative information regarding the excavation site in general, the soil adjacent to the excavation, the soil forming the sides of the open excavation, and the soil taken as samples from the excavated materials.”

  25. Manual Tests • “Manual analysis of soil samples is conducted to determine quantitative as well as qualitative properties of soil to provide more information in order to classify soil properly.” • Examples: Thumb penetration, Pocket penetrometers, Drying tests, Sedimentation…

  26. Thumb Penetration Test • 1926 Subpart P Appendix A(2)(iii) • …type A soils with an unconfined compressive strength of 1.5 tsf can be readily identified by the thumb; however they can only be penetrated by the thumb only with great effort…Type C soils with an unconfined compressive strength of .5 tsf can be easily penetrated several inches by the thumb, and can be molded by light finger pressure.

  27. SOLID ROCK • “Natural solid mineral matter that can be excavated with vertical sides and remain intact while exposed”

  28. Type A Soil • Cohesive soil with an unconfined, compressive strength of 1.5 Tsf • Examples of this type of soil are: Clays, silt clay, sandy clays, and clay loam.

  29. A Soil is NOT type ‘A’ IF: • The soil is fissured • The soil is subject to vibration • The soil has been previously disturbed • The material is subject to other factors that would require it to be classified as a less stable material. • Water is present

  30. Sources of Vibration • Traffic • Railroad Operations • Heavy Equipment Operations • Jack Hammer Operations • Tamping Machine Operations • Seismic activity

  31. Type B Soil • Cohesive soil with an unconfined compressive strength greater than .5 Tsf • Granular cohesion less soils including; silt, silt loam, sandy loam, and some sandy clay loam • Previously disturbed soils except those which would otherwise be classified as Type ‘C’ soil

  32. Type ‘C’ Soil • Cohesive soils with an unconfined compressive strength of 0.5 Tsf or less • Granular soils including gravel, sand, and loamy sand • Submerged soil, or soil from which water is freely seeping

  33. Sloping Requirements by Soil Type

  34. Sloping in Type ‘A’ Soil ¾ to 1 (53 Deg.)

  35. Sloping in Type ‘B’ Soil 1 to 1 (45 Deg.)

  36. Sloping in Type ‘C’ Soil

  37. Trench Boxes or Shield Systems: • “A structure that is able to withstand the forces imposed on it by a cave-in and thereby protect employees.” • Trench Boxes or Shields may not be modified, repaired unless approved by a PE.

  38. Trench Boxes or Shield

  39. Is this allowable? YES! If the Trench boxes are designed to be stacked and are used in accordance with their tabulated data.

  40. Trench Boxes and Sloping or Benching • Trench boxes are generally used in open areas, but they may also be used in combination with sloping and benching. The box should extend at least 18 inches above the surrounding area if there is sloping toward the excavation.

  41. Shoring (Shoring System) • “A structure such as metal hydraulic, mechanical or timber shoring system that supports the sides of an excavation and which is designed to prevent cave-ins.”

  42. Hydraulic Shoring

  43. Stacked Hydraulic Shores

  44. Whaler System

  45. Adjacent Structures Roads and/ or Sidewalks Curb and Gutter Light poles Utilities Mailboxes 1926.651 (a) “All surface encumbrances that are located so as to create a hazard to employees shall be removed or supported as necessary to safeguard employees” Surface Encumbrances

  46. Utilities • 1926.651(b) • The estimated location of utility installations, such as sewer, telephone, fuel, electric, …that reasonably may be expected to be encountered during excavation work, shall be determined prior to opening an excavation…

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