For utility contractors, excavation companies, trenching services or any type of business providing ditching or other similar services where people are in the trenched areas to build foundations or run wire, pipe or other materials, using a shoring or a trenching box is essential.
OSHA or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides clear guidelines for when and how a shoring box should be used based on the soil type as well as the specific application. As soil movement or collapse during these types of applications is both common and potentially life-threatening, using the boxes in a way that meets or exceeds any regulations should always be a priority in planning any project.
What to Consider
For protection for both the business as well as the employees, ensuring the design and the engineering behind the shoring box is fully OSHA compliant is critical. As these boxes are virtually indestructible, they are an investment that is typically a one-time purchase of the company, unless others are added due to the growth of services.
The entire system should be made out of a high strength tube and plate. This is not only stronger than other materials, including timber, but it is longer lasting. When painted, these trenching boxes are highly corrosion resistant. The interior of the box should feature braces that offer vertical and horizontal pinning capabilities for full structural security when in use. Also, look for heavy duty stacking sockets and push blocks and a reinforced bottom.
For ease of moving the shoring box in and out of the trench, as well as for storage when not in use. Look for a system that offers a built-in four point lifting system. The top designs provide lift lugs to the top of the box, providing each connection to large chains for quick, easy and convenient moving or removal after the job is completed.