3 Essentials When Hiring Trench Shoring Equipment for the First Time

The safety of workers is always a priority in any construction project. Working in a trench that stretches for kilometres and several feet deep can be a dangerous affair without the use of proper tools and equipment. For instance, the walls of a trench can collapse, thereby trapping workers under the debris, leading to a severe health and safety violation. By bracing the walls of a channel to prevent caving in – shoring – you ensure that your construction project remains on track and that workers operate in a safe environment at all times. Here are critical aspects to consider before hiring trench shoring equipment for the first time.

1. Ensure Utility Lines Are Marked -- Before you begin excavation and bracing of trenches, you need to contact your utility company. Shoring equipment can damage municipal infrastructures such as underground power cables, water pipes or gas lines and leaks that can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses. There is also the risk of injuries and deaths. Such costs might be passed onto the contractor besides the threat of legal liabilities. Therefore, allow utility firms to mark their infrastructure before any shoring work can begin. Also, if you are hiring a trench shoring equipment, you will probably end up paying less because of the time saved in marking the utility lines.

2. Use Hydraulic Shoring -- In hydraulic shoring, aluminium or steel prefabricated struts are used to secure the walls of a trench. Hydraulic cylinders put pressure on these walls, plates, flat or hinged cylinder pads to reinforce the trench by holding the soil back. The benefit of this method of shoring is that workers don't have to get inside the trench to set up or dismantle the system, which can be a safety hazard. Also, the technique of reinforcing a channel can be performed by one worker, thereby saving you some money in the process. Additionally, the hydraulic system ensures that pressure is distributed evenly throughout the trench line. Another advantage of the hydraulic shoring technique is that the prefabricated plates can be adapted to suit various trench widths and depths. 

3. Precaution -- Just like any construction equipment, you should not throw caution to the wind when working with hydraulic shoring equipment. It is recommended that you check the hydraulic system for broken connections, defective or damaged parts, bent bases and leaking cylinders or pipes at least once every shift. Furthermore, remember to install the trench shoring in a top-down configuration and remove it from the bottom up. Taking precaution ensures that workers remain safe while working in tight and narrow spaces such as trenches.