Site Trenching and Excavation

Site Trenching or Excavation prior to Demolition

More often than not, serious demolitions will involve excavation such as the removal of below grade tanks, slabs, footings, bomb shelters and storm drains. For this reason, SoCal Removal has adopted a policy for the safety of employees performing any excavation, trenching, shoring, sloping and proper safety when working in or around trenches and other excavations. Our policy proudly complies with the following CAL-OSHA regulations or any applicable state or local requirements that are more stringent.

  • Specific Excavation Requirements – Title 8-CCR’s
  • Requirements for Protective Systems – Title 8-CCR’s

SoCal Removal designates a competent person as the authority for any excavation operations. This person will ensure that all employees are trained in and familiar with required work practices and procedures regarding excavation/trenching operations. The designated competent person and/or other supervisors will make regular inspections of the work site to ensure that all safety measures and systems are in place, correctly installed, and that all safety procedures are followed.

SoCal Removal will implement and enforce the following engineering controls and work practices to prevent employees from being exposed to hazards from existing or ongoing excavations. What is the difference between a trench and an excavation? A trench is a narrow excavation made below the surface of the ground in which the depth is greater than the width – the width not exceeding 15 feet. An excavation is any man-made cut, cavity, trench, or depression in the earth’s surface formed by earth removal. This can include excavations for anything from cellars to highways.

SoCal Removal General Excavation Safety Requirements:

CAL-OSHA requires that workers in trenches and excavations are protected, and that safety and health programs address the variety of hazards they face. The following hazards cause the most trenching and excavation injuries:

  • No Protective System
  • Failure to Inspect Trench and Protective Systems
  • Unsafe Spoil-Pile Placement
  • Unsafe Access/Egress

Building Permits and General Contracting

SoCal Removal will comply with permit requirements. For instance, permits may be required for any trenches and excavations five feet or deeper where employee entry is required. Permits may also be required for the erection/dismantling of vertical shoring systems more than three stories or 36 feet high. There are many instances in which a permit may be involved for excavation activities. Regardless of whether a permit is required or not for the digging process to begin, SoCal Removal will always properly slope the excavation properly to eliminate cave-in opportunities.


All excavations are hazardous because they are inherently unstable. If they are restricted spaces, they present the additional risks of oxygen depletion, toxic fumes, and water accumulation. Protective systems and equipment must be in place in order to avoid injury or loss of life. If you are not using protective systems or equipment while working in trenches or excavations at your site, you are in danger of suffocating, inhaling toxic materials, drowning, being exposed to fire, or being crushed by a cave-in.

SoCal Removal Full Service Contractors – Excavation Safety Protocols: Methods to Avoid Hazards.

Pre-job planning is vital to accident-free excavations; safety measures cannot be improvised as work progresses. A competent person must address the following concerns:

  • Evaluate soil conditions and select appropriate protective systems
  • Construct protective systems in accordance with the standard requirements
  • Preplan; contact utilities (gas, electric) to locate underground lines, plan for tr