Excavation and Trenching Safety Plan

Excavation and trenching are among the most hazardous construction operations. This plan highlights key elements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Excavation and Trenching Standard, 29 CFR 1926.650 – Subpart P.

The Excavation and Trenching Safety Plan applies to all college employees, as well as contractors working for the College.


Appropriate safety equipment (e.g., shoring, shielding, equipment, etc.) shall be provided by the College when such equipment is necessary to protect the health and safety of the employee(s). The supervising department is responsible for purchasing the equipment.

A competent person shall be placed in charge of excavations by the supervising department. The competent person will be evaluated and designated by the supervising department according to the provisions in the Plan. Status as a competent person shall be reviewed every 3 years by the department supervisor.


Competent PersonĀ is one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings, or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.

Topics covered by the plan

Specific Excavation Requirements

  • Competent Person and Training Requirements
  • Responsible parties
  • Staging and Surface Encumbrances
  • Utility Locating
  • Access and Egress
  • Exposure to Vehicular Traffic and Falling Loads
  • Hazardous Atmospheres
  • Hazards from Water Accumulation
  • Stability of Adjacent Structures
  • Protection of Employees in Excavations
  • Inspections
  • Fall Protection

Requirements for Protective Systems

  • Soil Classification
  • Design of Sloping and Benching
  • Materials and Equipment
  • Installation and Removal of Support
  • Shield Systems

  • Appendix A – Soil Classification
  • Appendix B – Sloping and Benching
  • Appendix C – Competent Person Evaluation Form (ET-1) and Site Checklist/Daily Field Report (ET-2)