This is an introduction to working safely in construction excavations of 5ft or greater in depth.

It is highly important that you are aware of the type of soil the excavation is being done on so you know how to property slope, bench, or shore the trench. This can help prevent you and your employees from a dangerous and even deadly cave-in tragedy.

OSHA states that any excavations of 20ft of depth or deeper must use a protective system approved by a professional engineer. For all excavations, a competent person must conduct an investigation every day of the project to avoid any potential hazards and ensure safety for all workers.

The following video will show you in detail:

  1. How a visual inspection of a construction site soil is performed
  2. The 3 types of tests to classify the soil:
    1. Plasticity test
    2. Thumb Penetration test
    3. Pocket Penetrometer test

For information on Excavations / Trenching classes, visit our website at