In the construction industry, having the right tools is essential. If you want to get the job done correctly and safely, you need to have the best tools and equipment available. This is especially important when working in deep trenches where accidents can easily occur. Construction trench boxes, which are also known as trench shields, are designed to improve safety for workers in trenches, making it easier and safer for them to get their work done. If you want to understand how these unique boxes accomplish this, you first need to learn a little bit more about them.
The primary purpose of a trench shield is to keep the walls of a trench from collapsing while workers are inside. When you dig a trench down into the dirt, the walls of the trench are naturally unstable. They are made up of loose dirt that can easily collapse. If workers are in the trench unprotected, any cave-ins or collapses can result in serious injuries or even death.
Trench boxes help prevent this problem by stabilizing the walls of the trench. To understand how they make this happen, you need to take a look at their basic design.
Typically, they are made up of two heavy-duty sidewalls that are made out of durable materials like aluminum or steel. Special metal spreaders, which are essentially metal posts, are used to keep the walls separated from each other by a specific distance. The width of the spreaders matches the width of the trench. The spreaders can be removed and replaced with spreaders in different widths, allowing the same sidewalls to be used for trenches of varying widths.
After the trench is dug, the trench box is put in place. After the spreaders and sidewalls are secure, workers can safely enter the trench without having to worry about the walls caving in. This dramatically improves safety as they go about their work. Once the work is completed, the workers exit the trench. At that point, the trench box is removed and the trench is filled back in.
Construction trench boxes are generally rated based on the depth of the trench that they can be used in. As a general rule of thumb, deeper trenches require stronger trench boxes while shallower trenches don’t require trench boxes with quite as much strength.
Trenches are commonly used in a wide range of construction projects. For instance, workers who are installing new sewer lines often work in trenches, placing the pipes in the ground so that they can be buried after they are in place. These types of applications are ideally suited to the use of a trench shield or trench box.
Hopefully, this gives you a better idea of how trench boxes are used and of the general role that they fill within the construction industry. When it comes to improving worker safety, they play an extremely important role for any applications that involve working down inside of a trench. Thanks to their ability to support the walls of the trench, cave-ins or collapses are far less likely to occur.