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Ways to Safely Use Trench Boxes Trenches are a pretty common sight in many engineering or construction sites. They are meant for laying pipes, phone lines as well as lots of other constructions. While some are quite deep, others may be extremely shallow. Depending on the quality of soil, trench walls won’t support themselves for a long time. Steel or aluminum trench boxes support trench walls to make sure it’s safe for work to be done without walls falling on equipment or people. Other names for trench boxes are manhole boxes, sewer boxes, tap boxes, or trench shields. Pre-installation Before excavation starts, the site must undergo a thorough risk assessment to highlight any possible risks, the staffing required and the equipment required. The need for additional access is also looked at.
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Then the trench needs to be looked at. How deep is it supposed to be? How large does it need to be? Trenches that over 5 ft need support from one of these: trench box, sloping, or shopping. But if the trench is over 20 ft deep, its support must be designed by a registered engineer. How will people access the trench? It is by steps, ladders or a ramp? The trench should always have safe access for workers within 25 feet , in case of emergency. The atmosphere within the trench might also require testing for poisonous gases or low levels of oxygen. Trench boxes are made to be simple to install but it’s unsafe to stack boxes over each other.
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Looking after the trench Inspect the trench support or trench box every day for any signs of movement and damage. All workers on the site need to wear their own protective gear, hard hat, steel-toed boots, high visibility clothing and so on. Ensure that all heavy tools as well as equipment are kept far from the trench’s edge. Excavation It’s probably harder to extract a manhole box than install it due to the earth’s movement around the trench. It’s advisable to use a chain sling for extraction, using any of these three methods. Straight pull–a sling is just attached to the two lifting or extraction points and lifted out. Half pull–this is simply attaching a sling to one side of a manhole box, lifting it as much as possible, then switching the sling to the opposite side and repeating the action till the sewer box is removed. Single pull–one chain sling leg is attached to a lifting/extraction point and the corners of the panel are raised in turns; when the trench support moves freely, the trench box is removed with the straight pull. To sum up, trenches do save lives. It’s a legal requirement to use them and they need to be planned for. So long as they’re used and maintained properly, they make work so much easier and safer.