What’s Trench Shoring? A Quick Guide

Trench Shoring

In the world of construction, there’s always the risk of structural failures and collapses. When these happen, not only can it be costly for the company, but it can also be dangerous or even deadly for the workers.

This is why it’s important to use construction techniques that’ll provide support and stability, especially to the walls of an excavation or trench. For example, many sites utilize trench shoring.

What’s trench shoring? Read on to find out what it is and what its advantages are.

What’s Trench Shoring?

Trench shoring is the use of a system of steel or aluminum supports along the walls of a trench. This can prevent cave-ins and ensure worker safety. Because soil pressure can be massive, there are OSHA requirements for trench shoring that construction companies must follow to a T.

Trench shoring works by distributing the lateral pressure from the soil. You can then lay pipelines, install utility lines, or construct foundations safely within the trench.

The Types of Trench Shoring

Unsurprisingly, there are a few types of trench shoring that can be used in several applications, and this excavation company in Edmonton uses them to create workplace safety.

The three main types are trench boxes, hydraulic shoring, and slide rail systems. The optimal one will depend on the soil conditions, trench dept, width, and required level of worker protection and trench safety needed.

Trench Boxes

Trench boxes are also known as trench shields or trench sheets. As the name implies, there are large steel or aluminum boxes that are placed into the trench, and they provide a protective barrier along the sides.

The main job of a trench box is to withstand soil pressure and prevent cave-ins. This can literally save construction workers’ lives.

Hydraulic Shoring

This type of trench shoring uses hydraulic pistons or cylinders. These are installed vertically along the trench walls, and the pistons apply pressure to counteract the soil’s weight.

Hydraulic Shoring

What’s great about this method is it’s adjustable. As a result, it’s easy to install and adapt to various trench dimensions.

Slide Rail Systems

Slide rail systems are also known as linear shoring systems. They have vertical steel posts or rails, and they’re inserted into specially designed panels. Then, these panels are gradually inserted into the trench as it’s being excavated.

These systems are typically used when the trench depth exceeds the capabilities of other shoring systems. They’re great for when space is limited too.

Proper Trench Shoring Saves Lives

As you can see, trench shoring is a necessary site preparation method to prevent cave-ins that could take workers’ lives.

It’s vital that any trench shoring done follows OSHA guidelines and that only experienced professionals handle the installation. This is one area you don’t want to cut corners on, especially since it involves the well-being of the contractors working on the site.


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