Excavating, OSHA-Style

by Richard M. Berry, Pres.; Rembco Engineering Corp., Knoxville, TN,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1991, Vol. 61, Issue 12, Pg. 61-63

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration implemented its new, tougher trenching guidelines in July 1990, the agency opened the door for inventive excavation techniques. Contractors and engineers in Tennessee have seized the opportunity—devising a trenching system that accommodates safety, economics and site conditions—during a project at the University of Tennessee. The capital improvement program at the university includes the renovation of one building completed in the 1940s and the construction of two new buildings, as well as building demolition. However, excavation is extremely difficult on the congested and steep hillside site. While the revised regulations considerably upgrade the level of safety in excavation, they can also increase the cost. But with an eye toward safe—and cost-effective—excavation, Rembco Engineering Corp., Knoxville, Tenn., is implementing a new trenching technology that combines compaction piles and soil nailing.

Subject Headings: Trenches | Technology | Excavation | Innovation | Soil nailing | Compaction |

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