Trench safety training is a vital skill for anyone who works in excavation and construction. Trenching and excavation are among the most hazardous operations in the industry, and they require proper knowledge and precautions to prevent accidents and injuries. In this blog, I will share with you my personal journey of how I became an expert in trench safety training, and what I can offer you as a trainer.
My interest in trench safety training started when I had a close call with a trench collapse in 1978. I was setting up a sewer laser in a sloped trench when the slope gave way and disrupted my work. Fortunately, I was not hurt, but I realized that there were rules for employee safety in these situations that were not being followed. I decided to learn more about the OSHA standards and regulations for trenching and excavation, and how to apply them in practice.
I also began to work with trench shields, which are protective structures that prevent cave-ins and protect workers in the trench. I became the VP of Construction Products for Griswold Machine and Engineering (GME), one of the first nationwide distributors of trench shields. I gained a lot of experience and knowledge about the different types and uses of trench shields, both steel, aluminum and fiberglass.
Over the years, I have worked for and with most every manufacturer of shoring products in the United States and Europe. Shoring products are devices that support the sides of the trench and prevent soil movement. I have a working knowledge of both sloping and benching requirements, shoring products, and shielding products, and how to choose the best option for each situation.