Important Safety Tools : Aluminum Modular Trench Boxes

Aluminum Modular Trench Boxes

Perhaps you’ve wondered how aluminum modular trench boxes assist contractors? Sometimes called a “trench shield“, and different from trench shoring equipment, these vital safety tools help make the work of many utility workers, pipe layers, laborers, landscapers, and construction crews proceed more easily and safely. It may pay for itself many times over if someone needs to evacuate from the area quickly.

Potentially Dangerous Work

Probably most people don’t associate rapid movement with mounds of soil, holes or trenches. The ground at these work sites typically appears stable and solid. Yet when someone begins digging, this activity can cause unanticipated sudden shifts underground within the immediate vicinity (as the need for trench shoring equipment demonstrates so well). Vigorous digging may loosen some types of soils, or cause adjoining rocks or clumps of dirt to slide. Excavating a hole becomes a potentially hazardous activity if these heavy materials actually begin shifting or changing position unexpectedly. Workers may need to scramble out of a trench in a hurry to avoid getting hurt.

A trench box made from sturdy steel or aluminum may offer some temporary protection against getting crushed by moving loose sand or soil in this perilous situation. Typically built with sidewalls separated by metal posts (separators), these cage-like modular boxes sometimes help a worker inside a hole or trench cavity “buy some time” to escape from sliding dirt or mud. The separator posts offer something sturdy to grip in order to climb out. The separator walls may prevent cascading, loose soil or sand from smothering an employee in certain situations.

Other Reasons to Use Aluminum Modular Trench Boxes

Aluminum or steel trench boxes offer another advantage, also. These structures help clearly demarcate the boundary of a hole or trench around a worker. Usually brightly painted, the colored frame attracts attention. Aluminum modular trench boxes may help prevent other employees at the site from failing to notice the excavation. Particularly if a crew begins digging in a new spot which previously did not contain a hole, the trench box can help remind everyone about the change. It may help prevent some slips and falls.

If a collapse or other accident occurs and confusion prevails at the scene, first responders can search for missing workers near these vividly colored structures, too, instead of losing valuable time attempting to locate casualties in an area distant from the immediate work station. If your company values the safety of its employees, you’ll want to make the use of modular trench boxes a standard procedure. (Regulators in many places today mandate the use of these versatile safety tools, by the way. For example, see OSHA 29 CFR Section 1926.650-652 Subpart P-Excavations.)

A Smart Investment in Safety Products

For all these reasons, aluminum modular trench boxes represent an essential safety work tool for many contractors. It helps protect lives and reduce unnecessary job site accidents. Encourage your crews to use this equipment!