Excavation, Trenching, and Soil Mechanics


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Table of Contents

Excavation, Trenching, and Soil Mechanics

Points To Be Covered:


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Fatal Facts!

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1926.650-Scope and Application

What Is Soil?

Weighing in on Soil

Mechanics of a Cave-In

Diagram of a cave in

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Protecting Employees in Excavations

Protective Systems

So We have Options:

29 CFR 1926.652(b)(4)(i)

Competent Person

1926.651(k)(1) Inspections

Access and Egress 1926.651 (c)(2)

Soil Tests

Visual Test

Manual Tests

Thumb Penetration Test


Type A Soil

A Soil is NOT type A IF:

Sources of Vibration

Type B Soil

Type C Soil

Sloping Requirements by Soil Type

Sloping in Type A Soil

Sloping in Type B Soil

Sloping in Type C Soil

Trench Boxes or Shield Systems:

Trench Boxes or Shield

Is this allowable?

Trench Boxes and Sloping or Benching

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Shoring (Shoring System)

Hydraulic Shoring

Stacked Hydraulic Shores

Whaler System

Surface Encumbrances



Can an Excavation be a Confined Space?


Author: Mark Hodges

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