Feb 24



Category: Toolbox Talks
Cave-ins and slough-offs can be a major risk in the construction industry. Excavations and
trenches must be properly shored or cut back to an acceptable angle of repose; otherwise, there
will be a constant threat of a cave-in and the associated chance of injury or loss of life. A qualified
person must be involved in planning and inspections in order to have a safe excavation or trench
on a project.
Excavation and Trench Planning:
  • Are underground utilities located? (Use GPR, Check with utility companies, or property owner.)
  • Are there any overhead hazards (i.e., falling rock, soil, or other materials/equipment- less than 2’ away from the edge?)
  • Will there be any heavy equipment operating near the excavation or vibration hazards?
  • What’s the estimated depth of the excavation?
  • How many people will work inside the excavation?
  • Is there an escape or rescue plan?
  • Has there been a soil analysis to help determine what protections are needed? (sloping, benching, shoring, box, etc.)
  •  Any excavation with a depth of 5’ feet or more requires protective systems.
  • Never store excavated or other materials closer than 2’ from the edge of the excavation.
  • The qualified person performs inspections daily and as needed through-out the shift.
  • Access/egress, usually ladders, must be provided within 25’ of workers in excavations of 4’ or more in depth.
  • During the changing seasons it’s imperative to keep a close eye on your excavation and soil conditions as the weather and soil saturation can have dire consequences!
Unlike most accidents, the cave-in of an excavation usually can be predicted if
closely watched. It is, therefore, critical that a competent person keeps a close
eye on any excavation. Everyone should be removed from the excavation area
should it appear to be unstable.

Confirm That You’ve Viewed the Changes
in your inbox

We’ve made some changes/updates to the 2018 employee handbook and need you to acknowledge that you’ve seen these changes.

Thank you for reviewing!

Something went wrong.

The form collects name and email so that we can add you to our newsletter list for project updates. Checkout our privacy policy for the full story on how we protect and manage your submitted data!



Apr 20


Most areas of the United States are susceptible to tornadoes, and with the recent weather patterns we have had anything is possible. Tornadoes typically occur during the spring and summer...
Stay connected, sign up for our newsletter: