Cold and Flu Season

Click here for Spanish

The dreaded cold and flu season is here.  In the US it ranges from November through April.  And according to the CDC, 5% – 20% of the US population catches the flu annually.

Here are some tips to help you avoid being a victim:

  • Clean and wipe down shared surfaces such as countertops, keyboards & phones
  • Avoid touching you mouth, nose & eyes, and wash your hands thoroughly and often
  • Get a flu shot if possible – it’s most important for children & elderly
  • Eat healthy foods to strengthen your immune system
  • Exercise moderately to maintain a healthy immune system
  • Ask your doctor about vitamin supplement to help support your immune system
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Try to avoid people who are sick & know when to stay home if you become sick

Recognizing the symptoms of the Cold and Flu plays a key role in knowing if you ultimately fell victim.

  • The symptoms of the cold include:
    • Sore throat
    • Cough,chest discomfort
    • Mild fatigue
    • Runny nose
    • Fever and headache are rare
  • The symptoms of the flu are:
    • High fever 102-104 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Headache
    • Extreme fatigue
    • Dry cough and sore throat
    • Runny or stuffy nose
    • Muscle aches
    • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea

Infection can occur 1 day before and up to 5 days after becoming sick.  So it is important for you to do your part to prevent the spread of germs.

  • Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough.
    • Use tissues when you sneeze or if you have the sniffles.
    • If tissues aren’t available, sneeze into your sleeve – it is another great weapon against germs.
  • Toss tissues in the trash and
  • Wash your hands frequently.
    • Any kind of soap is effective in removing germs if you vigorously rub your hands together under running water for at least 15-30 seconds.

Sharing isn’t always Caring

Stay home if you

  • Have a fever
  • Cannot control your sneezing and coughing

The National Safety Council published Facts About the Flu. Feel free to download it and share with your team members and family.

Advertisements

Top-10 Violations in Construction in 2018

Click here for Spanish

OHSA recently posted their Top-10 Violations in 2018.  The list below highlights the Top-10 Violations that were issued specifically in the Construction Industry.  

  1. 1926.501 – Fall Protection
    • 1926.501(b)(13) (4,577 violations) – fall protection in residential construction
    • 1926.501(b)(1) (1,126 violations) – unprotected sides and edges
    • 1926.501(b)(10) (596 violations) – roofing work on low-slope roofs
    • 1926.501(b)(11) (429 violations) – steep roofs
    • 1926.501(b)(4)(i) (117 violations) – protection from falling through holes, including skylights
  2. 1926.451 – Scaffolding
    • 1926.451(g)(1) (553 violations) – fall protection
    • 1926.451(e)(1) (413 violations) – providing access
    • 1926.451(b)(1) (333 violations) – platform construction
    • 1926.451(g)(1)(vii) (253 violations) – use of personal fall arrest or guardrail systems
    • 1926.451(c)(2) (147 violations) – foundation for supported scaffold poles, legs, posts, frames, and uprights
  3. 1926.1053 – Ladders
    • 1926.1053(b)(1) (1,605 violations) – extending portable ladder side rails at least 3 feet above upper landing surface
    • 1926.1053(b)(4) (373 violations) – using ladders only for purpose for which they were designed
    • 1926.1053(b)(13) (261 violations) – not using the top or top step of a stepladder as a step
    • 1926.1053(b)(16) (120 violations) – marking or tagging portable ladders with structural defects and removing them from service
    • 1926.1053(b)(6) (74 violations) – using ladders only on stable and level surfaces unless secured
  4. 1926.503 – Fall Protection, Training
    • 1926.503(a)(1) (1,286 violations) – training program for each employee who might be exposed to fall hazards
    • 1926.503(b)(1) (368 violations) – written training certification
    • 1926.503(c)(3) (113 violations) – retraining required when inadequacies in employee’s knowledge or use of fall protection systems or equipment indicate that the employee has not retained the requisite understanding or skill
    • 1926.503(a)(2) (85 violations) – training by a competent person qualified in specified areas
    • 1926.503(a)(2)(iii) (46 violations) – training by a competent person on fall protection to be used, including guardrail, personal fall arrest, safety net, warning line, and safety monitoring systems, and controlled access zones
  5. 1926.102 – Eye and Face Protection
    • 1926.102(a)(1) (1,475 violations) – ensuring that each affected employee uses appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards
    • 1926.102(a)(2) (48 violations) – ensuring that each affected employee uses eye protection that provides side protection when there is a hazard from flying objects
    • 1926.102(a)(3) (4 violations) – employees that wear prescription lenses
    • 1926.102(b)(1) (2 violations) – protective eye and face protection devices must comply with any of the specified consensus standards
  6. 1926.20 – General Safety and Health Provisions
    • 1926.20(b)(2) (510 violations) – inspections of job sites, materials, and equipment by competent persons
    • 1926.20(b)(1) (447 violations) – accident prevention programs
    • 1926.20(b)(4) (15 violations) – only employees qualified by training or experience can operate equipment and machinery
    • 1926.20(b)(3) (6 violations) – tagging/locking controls of unsafe machinery, tools, materials, or equipment, or removing from place of operation
    • 1926.20(a)(1) (2 violations) – contractor requirements
  7. 1926.100 – Head Protection
    • 1926.100(a) (956 violations) – employees must wear protective helmets when working in areas with possible danger of head injury from impact, falling or flying objects, or electrical shocks and burns.
  8. 1926.453 – Aerial Lifts
    • 1926.453(b)(2)(v) (769 violations) – body belts and lanyards 
    • 1926.453(b)(2)(iv) (92 violations) – prohibition on sitting or climbing on edge of basket or using planks or ladders for a work position
    • 1926.453(b)(2)(vi) (16 violations) – boom and basket load limits
    • 1926.453(b)(2)(i) (6 violations) – daily testing of lift controls prior to use
    • 1926.453(a)(2) (4 violations) – field modification of aerial lifts
  9. 1910.1200 – Hazard Communication
    • 1910.1200(e)(1) (1,510 violations) – written hazard communication program
    • 1910.1200(h)(1) (1,170 violations) – employee information and training
    • 1910.1200(g)(8) (496 violations) – maintaining copies of Safety Data Sheets in the workplace and ensuring that they are readily available to employees
    • 1910.1200(g)(1) (331 violations) – having Safety Data Sheets in the workplace for each hazardous chemical
    • 1910.1200(f)(6)(ii) (196 violations) – labeling containers of hazardous chemicals with product identifier and words, pictures, symbols, or combination thereof
  10. 1926.502 – Fall Protection, Systems Criteria and Practices
    • 1926.502(d)(16)(iii) (94 violations) – rigging of personal fall arrest systems to prevent free fall more than 6 feet or contact with a lower level
    • 1926.502(d)(15) (92 violations) – anchorages for personal fall arrest systems
    • 1926.502(d)(17) (57 violations) – attachment points of body belt and harness
    • 1926.502(i)(4) (46 violations) – color coding or marking of covers
    • 1926.502(i)(3) (45 violations) – securing covers to prevent accidental displacement by wind, equipment, or employees

NSC 2018: OSHA announces latest Top-10 Violation list.

Click here for Spanish

At the 2018 National Safety Council Congress & Expo in Houston, Texas, Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, presented the agency’s top 10 violations for fiscal year (FY) 2018 to a standing-room-only crowd of safety professionals. While the list—particularly its top half—is largely familiar from previous years, one standard made an appearance for the first time.

The data, which covers violations cited from October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018, is preliminary, and as such, the precise numbers associated with each violation may change. However, the ranking is likely to remain consistent when OSHA releases the final numbers.

The top 10 violations of FY 2018 are:

  1. Duty to provide fall protection (29 CFR 1926.501):7,270 violations. The duty to provide fall protection has been OSHA’s top citation for several years. According to Kapust, common violations under this standard included failure to provide fall protection near unprotected sides or edges and on both low-slope and steep roofs. Many of the citations were issued to roofing contractors, framing contractors, masonry contractors, and new single-family housing construction contractors.
  2. Hazard communication (29 CFR 1910.1200):4,552 violations. Hazard communication has been in the number-two spot for several years. Common deficiencies include lack of a written program, inadequate training, and failure to properly develop or maintain safety data sheets (SDSs). Auto repair facilities, hotels, and motels were among the industries that received many hazard communication citations.
  3. Scaffolds—general requirements (29 CFR 1926.451):3,336 violations. Common violations included lack of proper decking, failure to provide personal fall arrest systems and/or guardrails where required, and failure to ensure that supported scaffolds are adequately supported on a solid foundation. Masonry, siding, and framing contractors were particularly prone to scaffolding violations.
  4. Respiratory protection (29 CFR 1910.134):3,118 violations. Failure to establish a program, failure to perform required fit testing, and failure to provide medical evaluations were among the most frequently cited issues. Auto body refinishing, painting contractors, and wall covering contractors received many citations under this standard.
  5. Lockout/tagout (29 CFR 1910.147):2,944 violations. Many employers cited under this standard failed to establish an energy control procedure altogether, while others were cited for failing to provide adequate employee training, failure to develop machine-specific procedures, and failure to use lockout/tagout devices or equipment.
  6. Ladders (29 CFR 1926.1053):2,812 violations. Common deficiencies included failure to have siderails extend 3 feet (ft) beyond a landing surface, using ladders for unintended purposes, using the top step of a stepladder, and ladders with broken steps or rails. These violations were common among roofing, framing, siding, and masonry contractors.
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks (29 CFR 1910.178):2,294 violations. Violations commonly addressed deficient or damaged forklifts that were not removed from service, operators who had not been trained or certified to operate a forklift, and failure to evaluate forklift drivers every 3 years as required. Forklift violations were widespread across a number of industries, but were particularly prevalent in warehousing and storage facilities, fabricated and structural metal manufacturing, and wood container and pallet manufacturing.
  8. Fall protection—training requirements (29 CFR 1926.503):1,982 violations. Commonly cited issues include failing to provide training to each person required to receive it, failure to certify training in writing, failing to ensure that training is provided by a competent person, and failing to train the proper use of guardrails and personal fall arrest systems.
  9. Machine guarding (29 CFR 1910.212):1,972 violations. Violations included failing to guard points of operation, failing to ensure that guards are securely attached to machinery, and failure to properly anchor fixed machinery. Machine guarding violations occur in many industries, but common targets include machine shops, fabricated metal manufacturing, and plastics manufacturing.
  10. Personal protective and lifesaving equipment—eye and face protection (29 CFR 1926.102):1,536 violations. The final violation is a newcomer to OSHA’s top 10 list and replaces electrical wiring methods (29 CFR 1910.305), which took the number 10 spot for FY 2017. Commonly cited issues included failing to provide eye and face protection where employees are exposed to hazards from flying objects; failing to provide protection from caustic hazards, gases, and vapors; and allowing employees to wear combinations of prescription and safety eyewear that compromise the protective qualities.

Source: www.safetyblr.com 

Holiday Safety

Click here for Spanish

The Holiday Season is upon us. 

In so many ways this is a season of joy.  We get to spend some extra days with those we love doing the things we enjoy. Many of us pack up the cars with our families and luggage and head out across the state or, for some, across the nation to spend this time with family that we haven’t seen in several months.  Or, if we aren’t driving there, then we are hopping on a plane and heading there.  Of course, there are some of us that won’t be heading out anywhere because we will be hosting the joyous occasions at our homes so the family and friends are coming to us.

Whether you are heading out or staying in chances are the “Holiday” has already started.  You are spending time thinking about what to pack, what to buy, where people are going to be sleeping, how you will fill those happy hours…or get through the dreaded ones (come on, I can’t be the only one that has those moments…okay may it is just me). 

The point it, your mind is already somewhere else, focused on something else.  And that is where the Holidays create hazards in the work place.

We want you to enjoy your Holidays with your family.  We want you to spend the time laughing and eating and relaxing.  But in order for you to do that we need you to stay focused while you are here at work.

If you are a supervisor, make sure your crew members are focused on the task at hand.

  • Spend more time than usual discussing the THA. Review it throughout the day and if something changes in the planned task make sure you review those changes. 
  • Spend some extra time with your crew to make sure they are “fit for duty” for the day, or even the moment.  And remember “fit for duty” doesn’t just mean “not impaired”.  Holidays aren’t always joyous occasions for everyone, so some of your crew members may not be mentally or emotionally fit for duty.  Take the time to talk to your crew members and make sure they are focused on their work.  
  • Check in with your crews at the end of the day and talk about the after-hours activities, like safe driving tips and responsible drinking and the hazards of distracted driving.  Even things like how to safely fry a turkey.  All of these things are important.  

If you are a crew member, help keep your co-workers, your friends, focused on the task at hand so that we can all enjoy our holidays.  You know them better than your supervisor does because you work closely with them every day.  You know when their head isn’t on the task so reel them back in if needed.  Enjoy the conversations about the upcoming activities during your breaks, but while working, don’t let those plans be a distraction.

From the Safety Team and all of us at Jordan Foster Construction!

Additional Resources

OSHA Issues Final Rule Regarding Crane Operator Certification Requirements

Click here for Spanish

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule setting November 10, 2018, as the date for employers in the construction industries to comply with a requirement for crane operator certification.

According to the Trade Release published on November 7, 2018, the final FINAL RULE changed some key items, specifically some important dates.

(If you want to skip the preamble and get right to the regulatory info head to page 184.)

A quick summary of the changes in the requirements is below:

  • Certification is still required; but “Rated Operating Capacity” (ROC) is out. Certification by capacity is no longer be part of the certification process.  Crane operators still have to be certified by type of crane (i.e. Lattice Boom Crawler, Swing Cab Telescopic), but, according to the new rule, they won’t be limited to what cranes they can operate by their lifting capacity. From now on, that will all be in the hands of their employers.
    • Certification of Crane Operators – effective date December 9, 2018
    • Jordan Foster Construction has already implemented the requirement for all of our Crane Operators to be certified, so this ruling has no affect on our current policies in this regard.
  • Employers have a duty to ensure that each operator is qualified and competent to operate whatever crane that operator operates. Rather than relying on a machine’s rated operating capacity as a measure of skill delivered through standardized testing, OSHA has placed the onus of determining an operator’s competency squarely on his or her employer. Thus, in addition to having certified operators, OSHA’s final rule requires employers to “continue to evaluate the operating competency of potential operators and provide training beyond that which is merely sufficient for those individuals to obtain certifications.” OSHA’s guidelines as to “how to qualify” an individual as competent remains to be seen.
    • Evaluation and Documentation – effective date February 7, 2019
    • Jordan Foster Construction is in the process of finalizing our Evaluation and Documentation Procedures for Crane Operators.

Additionally, it should be noted that there were no substantive changes to the existing exemptions (regarding operator training, certification and evaluation) for derricks, side-boom cranes, or equipment with a maximum manufacturer-rated hoisting/lifting capacity of 2,000 pounds or less from the training supervision requirements

According to OSHA, there are currently a limited number of OSHA recognized testing and certification programs.

Below are the OSHA Recognized Crane testing organizations:

  • “Crane Institute Certification”.
  • “NCCER”.
  • “National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators”.
  • “International Union of Operating Engineers”.
  • “Operating Engineers Certification Program”.

Some of these organizations list companies that will train crane operators in preparation to take the exam. In many cases, contacting each of the organizations above may provide more information as to local training providers in your area.

Severe Weather and Safety

Click here for Spanish

As a company Jordan Foster has a dedication to establishing a culture of safety.  From our skill training and HCSS, to our weekly tool box talks and our stand downs, we are working very hard to create a culture of safety and to make everyone realize how essential they are to its success.

With summer and severe weather seasons, even thunderstorms, pose a serious safety risk to anyone working on or near a jobsite.  We all know how the effects of Hurricane Harvey destabilized Houston and the surrounding areas.  Some in the JFC Family felt the effects not only at their jobsites but personally at their homes as well.

Property damage from severe weather events can add both cost and time to a project. While it’s not possible to fully predict and react in a timely fashion to strong winds and storms, a documented and practiced contingency plan can help contractors prepare for the unexpected. Protect your site and project timeline by evaluating site specific risks, properly securing materials and equipment and anticipating alternate construction plans.

Wind Hazards

Wind damage to structures under construction leads to millions of dollars in damages and delays every year. At construction sites, wind damage primarily involves masonry walls, framework, forms and roof coverings. Evaluate your site’s wind exposures to eliminate or significantly reduce the risk of damage or delay.

  • Brace building components. Tilt-up panels, masonry walls and other building components should be braced and inspected according to engineering design or recommended manufacturer guidelines. Anchor roof panels on partially installed roofs, weld or secure decking each day, and consider covering large wall openings with tarp until windows, doors or glass curtain walls are installed.
  • Properly store and handle materials for windy conditions. Loose materials such as sand, topsoil and mulch may need to be covered with a tarp or sprayed with water to prevent erosion. Erecting temporary windbreaks also can help keep the stockpile from being blown from the job site. It is also important to secure larger materials (e.g. metal sheeting or plywood), which could become projectiles and cause additional damage. Closely follow crane manufacturers’ guidelines for when operations should cease, and secure all other equipment from impending weather events.

Tornados

Tornadoes can occur with little or no warning. Taking precautions in advance of the storms, such as developing an emergency plan, learning the warning signs, and monitoring tornado watches and warnings, can help you stay safe if a tornado occurs in your area.

Tornadoes can occur anywhere and at any time during the year. In an average year, 800 tornadoes are reported throughout the nation. The most violent tornadoes may have wind speeds of 250 mph or more, and may last for more than an hour. Sometimes multiple tornadoes may occur at the same time. Tornadoes can appear rapidly, so it is important to be familiar with the signs in order to stay prepared.

Early warnings about a likely tornado can help save lives. Weather radar systems are used to detect air movement which could indicate that a tornado may be likely to form. Environmental clues may also suggest that a tornado is forming.

Here are some signs to look for:

  • Dark, often greenish clouds or sky
  • Wall cloud
  • Large hail
  • Funnel cloud
  • Roaring noise

Preparing for a Tornado

With wind speeds up to 250 miles per hour, tornadoes are capable of picking up large objects, including cars and machinery. For construction worker, it is crucial all tools and materials are properly stored away when tornado-like conditions appear. If possible, all tools and materials need to be stored inside a vehicle or container to prevent them from being swung around in high winds caused by a tornado.

What to Do During a Tornado

The safest place to be during a tornado is inside a sturdy building. Unfortunately, most construction workers won’t have sufficient time to make it into a sturdy building. If you can’t make it to a building, the safest thing to do is lie down flat and face down on the ground. Protect the back of your head with your arms. If possible, make sure you are far away from trees, vehicles, or other large objects.

If you are driving when a tornado touches down, the safest thing to do is lie down on the ground outside. If you do not have enough time to make it out of your vehicle safely, park, turn the engine off, make sure you are buckled up, and try to put your head down below the window. If you have a blanket or jacket, use that to cover your head. It is never safe to seek cover from a tornado under a bridge, in a mobile home, or in any portable building.

Preplanning

Writing out plans for emergencies for the construction site, including in cases of extreme weather, is an efficient way for everyone to know what they are supposed to do.

The following steps are recommended to help ensure the safety of personnel if a tornado occurs:

  • Develop a system for knowing who is onsite in the event of an emergency
  • Establish an alarm system to warn workers specifically for Tornado emergencies
  • Test systems frequently
  • Develop plans to communicate warnings to personnel with disabilities or who do not speak English
  • Account for workers and others as they arrive in the shelter
  • Take a head count
  • Assign specific duties to employees in advance; create checklists for each specific responsibility. Designate and train alternates in case the assigned person is not there or is injured
  • There are many dangers associated with working in the construction, but tornadoes don’t have to be one of them. With the proper precautions and planning, JFC workers can avoid serious injuries from tornadoes.

Hurricanes

Hurricanes can be destructive, but they can also be anticipated, which allows time for planning and preparation. If your job site is located in an area subject to hurricanes, have it surveyed to determine the potential exposure to high winds and flooding. Create a hurricane contingency plan to help prevent loss to the job site due to winds, flooding, mud deposition and theft.

  • Develop a preparedness checklist. Identify areas in need of protection, such as the field office trailer equipment files, tools, heavy equipment, generators, compressors, welding machines, cranes, cranes on barges, tugs, work boats, fuel tanks, permanent materials and forms.
  • Have a relocation plan. If the job involves work on or near bodies of water, make plans to relocate or protect all equipment and watercraft, including tugs and barges. Account for the amount of time it would take to complete any relocation.
  • Secure the necessary supplies in advance. When a tropical storm has been identified by the National Weather Service, make sure tie-downs, banding material, blocking, anchors and other necessary protection supplies are available and organized.
  • During a hurricane watch, prepare to take action. The project superintendent should review the preparedness checklist, formulate a plan to protect the job site, identify items to secure and consider moving material and equipment to higher, protected ground.
  • In a hurricane warning, prepare for the potential for hurricane-force winds within 24 hours. The project superintendent may need to implement all protection measures.
  • When landfall is predicted in the area of the job site within 24 hours, suspend all work activities. Complete the hurricane plan by assigning staff and timetables for completion and evacuate all personnel.
  • After the storm has passed, assess damage, take steps to prevent theft and begin clean up. Hazards may include unstable structures, downed power lines that may still be energized, and wet or damaged electrical panels. Secure the site, including any equipment or materials being permanently installed, and assess and document damage. Notify appropriate utilities and contact your insurance carrier for damage assessment.

Monsoons and Heavy Rains

Water is one of the leading causes of damage to buildings under construction. Heavy rains can flood a site when drainage systems aren’t complete. These same rains can enter the exterior building envelope through unfinished window and door openings. If roof drains are obstructed, the rising water may find another drain path or try to settle across a level surface.

  • Identify potential for flood and evaluate site drainage.Permanent and temporary drainage systems should be installed, maintained and inspected to ensure they are free of obstructions in the event of heavy rains or flooding. Delay installation of high-value subgrade equipment, such as electrical switchgear, until drainage systems are in place and operational.
  • Avoid installing finished product, until window and door openings are closed, roof is secured and the building is watertight. Use temporary coverings if necessary to protect finished work.
  • The location and construction of temporary roofs should be part of the construction planning process or where installation of the permanent roof is delayed.
  • Have a site-specific plan in place, including emergency response, clean-up kit and trained personnel, to assist with mitigating the damage.
  • It is important to remember that while construction jobs are vulnerable to severe weather, having processes and procedure in the event of severe weather at every job site does not only prepare and reduce the risk involved but it allows for Jordan Foster Employee’s to have knowledge that can help in any situation.

 

Excavation and Trenching

Click here for Spanish

One of the most dangerous types of construction work is excavation and trenching, which kills 40 construction workers every year. But these deaths can be prevented.

An excavation is defined as: any man-made cut, cavity, trench or depression in an earth surface, formed by earth removal.

A trench is defined as: a type of excavation or depression in the ground that is generally deeper than it is wide, and narrow compared to its length.

 Today we see OSHA inspectors assessing maximum fines to pressure employers into complying with the standard. Upon their inspection of a job site, these inspectors want to see that:

  • Employees are trained to safely perform their duties and they are involved in safety activities.
  • That a job safety program has been prepared and is effectively implemented.
  • That a Competent Person has been assigned to meet the requirements of the excavation standard.

 Every excavation must have a Competent Person.

The “Competent Person” is defined as one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surrounding or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous or dangerous to employees and who has the authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.

Some of the responsibilities assigned to the competent person are:

  • Conduct tests for soil classification.
  • Understand standards and any data provided.
  • Determine the proper protective system.
  • Recognize and reclassify soil after changing conditions.
  • Determine if damage to trench safety equipment renders it inadequate for employee protection.
  • Conduct air tests for hazardous atmosphere.
  • Design of structural ramps.
  • Locate underground installations/utilities.
  • Monitor water removal equipment and the operation.
  • Perform daily inspections.

Always remember though, ALL employees must be trained to recognize and avoid hazards on site, as well as how to use protective systems properly.  Also, employees should never enter an excavation until the competent person has inspected and declared it safe for entry.

 Soil Types

OSHA’s classification system has 4 Types: Stable Rock, Type A, Type B, Type C.

  • Stable Rock: This is natural, solid mineral matter that can be excavated with vertical sides and remain intact.
  • Type A: This is a cohesive (clay  or clay  rich) soil with a compression strength of 1.5 tsf (tons per square foot) or greater. It is a hard soil that will bear a great load without failing.
  • Type B: This is a cohesive soil (medium to stiff clay) with an unconfined compressive strength between .5 and 1.5 tsf.
  • Type C: This is a cohesive soil (soft, wet clay) with an unconfined compressive strength below .5 tsf.

Most soils are either Type B or C. There is though, a C-60 Soil classification that was created by hydraulic shoring manufacturers, not OSHA. The competent person can only use this classification with a specific manufacturer’s tabulated data and equipment. (The worst flowing range of soil is C-80)

Protective Systems

The definition of protective systems means a method of protecting employees from cave-ins, from material that could fall or roll from an excavation face or into an excavation, or from the collapse of an adjacent structure. Protective systems include:

  • Hydraulic Shoring
  • Trench Boxes (Shielding)
  • Sloping
  • Benching
  • Sloping & Benching used in combination

According to the soil type, and depth of the excavation or trench, the competent person (or engineer, if depth of excavation is over 20 feet) will decide which of the above listed protective systems must be used.

Also, remember:

  • Always call 811 before you dig.
  • Ladders must be installed within 25′ of employees in trenches over 4′ deep.
  • Spoil piles must be a minimum of 2′ back from the edge of any excavation and …
  • NEVER enter an excavation or trench without the Competent Persons approval.

In closing, Ladies and Gentlemen, know that dirt is extremely heavy. One cubic yard of dry dirt is approximately 2000 pounds, or one ton – and this weight increases significantly when product is wet.

Be Safe! Be Aware!