Everything You Need to Know About Trench Shoring Equipment

Since 1982, Icon has been providing the world with Trench Shoring and Trenchless Guided Auger Boring Equipment. Icon Equipment vows to revolutionize the trench shoring industry by achieving new benchmarks when it comes to the quality of their products. They want their quality to exceed the standards put out by the current industry by using creativity, teamwork and partnerships. They provide excellent customer service and excellent equipment that will keep you safe as you work in some of the most dangerous conditions.

Excavation is among one of the most hazardous construction operation. Excavation is defined by OSHA as, “any man-made cute, cavity, trench, or depression in the Earth’s surface formed by Earth removal.” A trench is defined as, “A narrow underground excavation that is deeper than it is wide, and is no wider than 15 feet.” There are many dangers imposed during the excavation of a trench. The greatest risk comes from the possibility of cave-ins. Cave-ins are the most likely excavation related accident to end up resulting in worker fatalities. Falls, falling loads, hazardous atmospheres, and incidents while utilizing mobile equipment are other hazards imposed by excavating trenches. Every year dozens of fatalities and hundreds of injures are the result of trench collapses. Protective systems are put into place in order to keep people save during the excavation process. There are various types of protective systems in place. The first is a process known as sloping. The trench wall is cut back at an angle that is inclined away from the excavation during Sloping. Another type of protective system is a process known as Shoring. This requires the installation of an Aluminum Hydraulic, or other type of support, in order to prevent the soil from moving and lower the probability of cave-ins. Shielding is a protective system that uses trench boxes or other supports in order to shield workers and prevent the soil from caving in on top of them. Soil classification, depth of the cut, the water content in the soil, any changes due to the weather or climate conditions, surcharge load, and any other operations taking place in the vicinity all should be considered before designing a protective system.

OSHA requires trenches to be inspected every day and as conditions change by a competent person prior to workers entering the excavation site in order to ensure that the probability of excavation accidents have been properly eliminated. A competent person is any individual that is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards or working condition that can harm employees and who is authorized to take necessary and prompt corrective measures in order to eliminate or control dangerous hazards and/or conditions. OSHA also requires that workers have safe access to safe means of egress for any employee working in trench excavations that are four foot (or deeper) in depth.

OSHA also provides a list of general trenching and excavation rules that should be followed on any excavation site. The first is that heave equipment should be kept away from the edges of the trench. The surcharge loads should remain at least two feet from the edge of the trench. Employees should know where the underground utilities are located. The area should be tested for low oxygen, toxic gases, and other hazardous fumes before employees enter the site. Trenches should be inspected at the start of each shift, after a rainstorm, or any other time work conditions change. Employees are also advised not to work under raised loads. It is also important to understand what each type of equipment is and what you need in order to safely carry out excavation of your site.

One type of product used in Trench Shoring are Trench Boxes. A trench box is a box- shaped sheathing that is constructed of either wood or steel. The box is permanently braced across a trench to utilize during an excavation or pipe laying process. The unit is then pulled along the trench as the excavation or pipe laying process proceeds. The Trench Box is utilized in order to prevent the sidewall of the trench from caving in during the excavation or pipe laying process.

Shoring systems are a type of protective system intended to protect workers from harm. These systems are made up of posts, wales, struts and sheeting. Icon is known as the original pioneer for the Slide Rail system in the United States. The Slide rail system can be used on anything from simple pits or elaborate excavations that contain multiple and complex utility problems, overhead clearance problems, and even difficult soil conditions. Their slide rails shoring system is made of high yield steel and is made of lineal panels, rails, posts and bracing. This system allows the contractor to install 2, 3, or 4 sided pits and trenches and allows for different excavations to take place under a multitude of possible soil conditions.

Guided Auger boring is a process otherwise known as Pilot Tube Microtuneling, the guided boring method, or auger drilling. Guided Augur Boring is defined by the North American Society for Trenchless Technology as, “Auger boring systems which are similar to microtunneling but withthe guidance mechanism actuator sited in the drive shaft.” This system can install pipes under different soil conditions. The basic process for these machines are as follows: first, excavate and prepare both the driving and receiving shaft of the machine. Then you will typically lower the thrust frame so that it is in the driving shaft and then you will set it up. The system is guided by a camera mounted theodolite connected to a video monitor installed at the driving shaft and can be used for monitoring the line and grade of the drilling profile. After this, you should set up the steering head and the target destination. Different steering heads can usually be deployed based on the soil conditions in which you are working. You will then install the pilot tube behind the steering head. The boring process will proceed with rotation and thrust of the pilot tube. Deviations will be adjusted continuously using the video monitor surveillance system of the illuminated target thanks to the theodolite. After the steering head as reached the driving shaft, the reamer and casing with auger on the inside are connected to the last remaining segment of the pilot tube. The reamer and auger will then rotate and thrust the reamer and casing, thus enlarging the pilot bore hole. This process will be repeated until all of the pilot tubes have been removed. Once the reamer reaches the receiving shaft, an adapter should be installed at the end of the very last casing. This connects the casing and the product pipe together. The jacking frame will push the product pipe while the casings are retrieved at the receiving shaft. The soil in the casings will be removed by the augers and retrieved at the driving shaft. This process will be repeated until all casings and augers have been completely removed.

The final piece of equipment are the steel crossing plates. These plates feature hardened threaded weld nuts and consist of an engineered lifting device. The lifting device contains an industry standard minimum safety factor rating of five to one. This is to provide safe and easy lifting of the plate from both sides. These plates can be stacked flat and require no dunnage. This plates are used to cover trenches, protect roadways or during vertical shoring applications. It’s important that these plates are made durable, in order to provide safe and hazard free conditions. It is important to know about the equipment you are looking to use, how it works, the guidelines in place, and the safety of the job at hand.

Espana Gomez is an author of this blog. Recently she works as an interior design assistant in her town. She loves daydreaming about beautiful homes and interior decor.