Designed to protect workers within a collapsed trench, a trench box is a safety feature is essential to many road construction projects around the nation, as well as any other building site that includes a deeply dug work area. In a time of unexpected weather and failing infrastructure, understanding the correct methods for determining trench box dimensions is not only essential to the safety of the workers, it can also determine whether or not a project can even be completed.
Various types of shoring for excavation are the hidden supports that most people do not even know exist. These shoring methods, however, are used for the construction of many types of bridges and many types of roads. Even a temporary walking bridge was likely constructed with the help of a trench box shield. And while the trench box dimensions can be fairly standard, they can also be created in any number of unique sizes to suit a specific purpose.
From Elevator shafts to footings for large buildings, the importance of accurate trench box dimensions determine the safety and the success of many construction and infrastructure projects. Consider some of these facts and figures about the ground work what must be done before any construction projects, as well as the large amount of construction and infrastructure work that is part of this nation:
- 600,000 is the number of bridges in the U.S.
- The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) estimates that to eliminate the nation?s bridge deficient backlog by the year 2028, the nation would need to invest $20.5 billion a year. In comparison, only $12.8 billion is currently being spent a year.
- One of every nine of the nation?s bridges are rated as structurally deficient, and the average age of the nation?s 607,380 bridges is currently 42 years.
- OSHA requires safe access and egress to all excavations. This definition includes ladders, steps, ramps, or other safe means of exit for employees working in any trench excavations that is four feet or deeper. These access and egress devices must be located within 25 feet of all workers.
- Deeper trenches, those that are five feet or more deep, require a protective system unless the excavation is made entirely in stable rock. Trenches that are 20 feet deep or greater require that the protective system be custom designed by a registered professional engineer or be based on tabulated data prepared and/or approved by a licensed and registered professional engineer.
As the nation prepares to continue the construction of new projects and bridges, it also works to improve and repair many current structures like bridges. Most of these projects require temporary shoring and trenching structures to help protect the workers.