How to Use Trench Boxes Safely Trenches are fairly common in many an engineering or construction site. They are meant for laying pipes, phone lines as well as lots of other constructions. While some are deep, others can be very shallow. Based on the soil’s quality, trench walls support themselves for a short time. An aluminum or steel trench box secures the trench walls to make it safe to work there without the risk of walls collapsing on people or equipment. Trench boxes are also called manhole boxes, tap boxes, sewer 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 necessity of additional access is also assessed.
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Then the trench will have to be looked at. How deep is it supposed to be? How big should it 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 enter 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. While trench boxes allow for simple installation, it’s not safe to pile boxes over each other.
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Looking after the trench Check for any signs of movement or damage by inspecting the trench box/trench support daily. All workers on the location must wear protective gear, high visibility clothing, hard hats, steel-toed boots, etc. Be sure to keep heavy tools and equipment away 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 best to extract using a chain sling, through any of these 3 ways. 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 legally required that they be used and they have to be planned for. So long as they’re used and maintained properly, they make work so much easier and safer.