An excavation in which material removal forms a narrow opening in the ground. Unlike large excavations, a trench is generally deeper than it is wide. OSHA considers an excavation to be a trench if it is 15 feet wide or less at the bottom of the excavation.
A trench where the sides are parallel and at right angles to the base. Straight trenches are usually used in areas where there is limited surface area to disturb, such as a roadway or near buildings. Protection systems such as shoring or trench boxes would be required.
A trench where the sides have been angled to prevent cave-in. The angle of the slope is determined by the soil type, trench depth, and in some cases, the time that the trench will remain open. This type of trench is
common on new construction sites where disturbing a wider path of soil is not a
problem or where other protection systems are not available. It may also be used when placing large pipes or culverts. VERTICAL SIDE LOWER PORTION type trenches employ sloping and shielding.
A trench where the sides have been cut away to form steps. Vertical distances (height of step) are determined by soil type. Multiple bench or single bench systems can be used.
A trench which is usually used in footing
placement. Its top is usually narrower than its bottom, thus giving it a bell shape
in crosssection. With the sides sloping inward over the floor of the hole, the
possibility of collapse is much greater than in other styles of trenches. Additional protection systems are required for those who work in this type of excavation.
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