Equipment Type

Trench Compaction Cautions

June 24, 2015

Radio- or infrared-based remote-control trench rollers allow operators to avoid entering unstable material or the confines of a trench. If, however, a worker must enter an excavation with a rammer, plate compactor, walk-behind roller, or manual trench compactor, then OSHA regulations apply (29 CFR Part 1926.650-.652 Subpart P) and include these basic provisions:

  • Competent or qualified person must assess the excavation and determine it safe to enter
  • Excavations more than 5 feet deep require a protective system (trench-shield)
  • Safe means for entering/exiting must be provided for excavations more than 4 feet deep
  • Advise that excavations more than 4 feet deep can accumulate hazardous exhaust gases

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