Commercial construction trenching specialists in Charlotte NC

Many construction projects require addressing underground pipes or cables for utilities and telecommunications services. Excavating soil and debris to create a trench is the standard technique. Often these work sites are in urban settings and in very confined spaces. Catalyst Construction Company specializes in commercial construction trenching in Charlotte NC and surrounding areas. One of our most challenging trenching projects involved removing rusted drain lines from the 1970s and running the new drain lines a distance of 10 feet under the production line of a plant.

Catalyst Construction Company specializes in trenching projects

Trenching is one of the most dangerous construction operations. The greatest hazard being cave-ins or collapses. Considering that one cubic yard of soil can weigh as much as a car, the deadliness is understandable. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA, 23 workers were killed in trench collapses in 2016, surpassing the combined total from 2014 and 2015. They are now revising their safety standards due to the increase of worker fatalities. Industry safety standards are founded on preventative measures. The four main protective systems used in trenching are:

  1. Benching – the sides of the excavation form a series of steps graduating down to the bottom of the trench.
  2. Sloping – the trench walls are cut at an angle inclined away from the excavation.
  3. Shoring – supports are used to prevent soil movement.
  4. Shielding – metal hydraulic, mechanical, timber supports or trench boxes are used to prevent cave-ins.

The type of soil, the depth of cut, water saturation of the soil, weather conditions and surcharge loads are all key factors in determining which measure to use. Catalyst Construction Company specializes in trenching projects in commercial settings under the strictest safety standards. Our excavating crews receive on-going education and training and meet all the OHSA criteria for safety.

Major requirements for protective trenching

On every work site, a competent person is present to monitor safety conditions and to implement an emergency action plan. As a part of OSHA’s regulations to ensure safety, the competent person oversees these major requirements:

  • Locations for sewer, telephone, fuel, electric, water lines or any other underground installation are determined prior to excavation
  • Ladders, steps or ramps are placed within 25 feet of all workers for safe access and egress in excavations 4 feet or deeper
  • Protective systems are installed in trenches 5 feet or deeper; at 20 feet or greater, this system must be designed by a registered professional engineer (PE)
  • Construction equipment and materials must be kept two feet away from the edge to avoid falling loads
  • Crew members are not allowed to work beneath suspended or raised loads
  • Employees are required to wear protective gear at all time

Meticulous site management and careful monitoring are mandatory for successful trenching. Selecting a general contractor experienced in trenching methods, such as Catalyst Construction Company, ensures the safest and best outcome for challenging excavation projects. 

Call us for your next project: 980-201-9798