Excavation, Trenching, and Soil Mechanics (1 Day)

Length: 8 Hours

Each year in the United States, an estimated 100 deaths occur and over 1,000 workers are injured in excavation accidents. This course describes the OSHA standards and safety aspects of excavation and trenching operations as performed in the construction industry. Students are introduced to the mechanics of cave-ins and how to perform soil analysis to classify soil. The student will learn how to protect workers through the use of shoring, shielding, or sloping operations as well as special situations that arise in field environments.

Excavation, Trenching and Soil Mechanics

Regulation: 29 CFR 1926.650 Subpart P of the construction standard.


This course is designed for workers and supervisors who work in trenches and excavations.

Course Objectives:

  • Understand excavation dangers and the OSHA regulations devised to help keep workers safe
  • Identify three types of soil using manual and visual soil tests
  • Explain the dynamics of a cave-in and identify three methods which protect workers from trench collapse
  • Demonstrate awareness of special circumstances surrounding excavations and the role of key workers in an excavation

Course Topics:

  • Excavations (2 hour)
  • Soil classification (2 hour)
  • Sloping and benching (.5 hour)
  • Timber shoring for trenches (.5 hour)
  • Aluminum hydraulic shoring for trenches (.5 hour)
  • Alternatives to timber shoring (.5 hour)
  • Selection of protective system (1 hour)
  • Excavations (Construction) (1 hour)
Excavation, Trenching and Soil Mechanics