Companies that are involved in trenching and excavation may realize true savings through the use of proper trench support. We use the word “proper” because contractors too often will use some form of trench support that is not designed or rated for the work they are doing.
The following are eight reasons why proper trench support methods and equipment will save money. In fact, the year-end savings will exceed the cost of the equipment many times over.
- JOB PLANNING IS ABOUT SAFETY AND ECONOMICS — Picking the right equipment for a particular job saves you money. Having the equipment at the job site and available to your crews allows them to work safely, speeds up your production and lowers your costs. Pre-engineered systems eliminate the guess work and cost of custom engineering and puts the savings in your pocket. Modular shoring and shielding systems make installation fast and easy, without cutting, welding, nailing or other expensive and time-consuming methods. Avoid unexpected expenses with thorough job safety planning.
- AVOID COSTLY REPAIRS — The cost of repairing existing utility lines or infrastructure damaged due to improper trench support can be astronomical.
- REDUCE SOIL REMOVAL AND REPLACEMENT COSTS — A ten-foot deep four-foot-wide trench that can be supported with shoring or shielding will be 4.7 times larger of sloped in a Type C soil. A ten-foot square ten-foot-deep pit when sloped in Type C soil is over 7 times larger than if it were shored or shielded. By not using shoring or shielding a significant amount of soil would have to be removed, replaced, or compacted.
- REDUCE WORKMAN’S COMP CLAIMS — Workman’s compensation premiums are based upon your 3-year experience modifier. Accidents or fatalities can easily add more than 100% to your company’s insurance costs when compared to your “Safe” competitors.
- AVOID DAMAGE TO ADJACENT PROPERTY — Loss of adjacent streets curbs and sidewalks are a common cost due to the lack of proper trench support. As well undermining adjacent structural foundations can lead to expensive property damage claims. Payment of these claims means higher premiums and more out-of-pocket expense.
- REDUCE DISPOSAL LIABILITIES — Disposal of soil and debris has become an expensive part of any project. Eliminating unnecessary excavation puts disposal dollars in your pocket.
- REDUCE UNSAFE CONDITIONS WHILE INCREASING PRODUCTIVITY — Crews working in unsafe excavations are not productive. Unprotected workers work slowly-keeping a wary eye on the unstable excavation walls hoping to anticipate a collapse that might bury them.
- AVOID HEAVY FINES, LEGAL EXPENSES & POSSIBLE JAIL TERMS — OSHA fines start at $7,000 and escalate rapidly from there. In addition, defense costs for these fines can be tremendous. Repeated citations coupled with a history of poor response to citations could bring about a “willful” charge ($25,000 minimum fine). The cost of one death or serious violation could pay for all the rental or purchases of shoring you may ever use or put you out of business or send you to jail.