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Construction Depot

Safety and health newsletter for the Oregon construction industry

February 22, 2016

Picture of a trench with a ladder

Construction Q&A: Trench depth with multiple soil types

Q: We need to work in a trench that has three feet of stable rock on the bottom layer and three feet of Type B soil on the top of that. Should we consider the top three feet of Type B soil as part of a six-foot-deep excavation that needs protection, or can we consider it a three-foot-deep excavation that does not need protection?

A: Regardless of the type of soil in the strata, the trench is six feet deep and requires protection. Always protect to the least stable soil type.



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