Responsibility for Trenching and Excavation Design

by Louis J. Thompson, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Civ. Engrg. Dept., Texas A&M Univ., College Station, Tex.,
Ronald J. Tanenbaum, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof.; Civ. Engrg. Dept., Univ. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 4, Pg. 327-338

Document Type: Journal Paper


To protect the lives of workmen and the public, traditional engineering and construction methods should be changed so that an engineer will explore each site, analyze each excavation and design any necessary support and dewatering system. This information should be completely disclosed in the bid documents. The engineer should never try to pass this legal responsibility to the contractor through exculpatory and caveatory phrases; change of condition clauses should be included in contract documents. Inspection of construction should be conducted by the engineer including the temporary support system as well as permanent construction.

Subject Headings: Excavation | Construction engineering | Construction methods | Construction sites | Construction management | Systems engineering | Site investigation | Dewatering

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