Course 157 Excavation Safety: Basic

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Course 157 Certificate
Frame not included.
Modules: 2
Hours: 1
Sectors: All Industries

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Course 157 Excavation Safety: Basic

Key Topics

  • Soil Types
  • Soil Testing
  • Shielding Systems
  • Sloping, Shoring, and Benching
  • Competent Person
  • Ingress and Egress

Target Audience

  • Employees
  • Supervisors

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


osha photo
This is why we need excavation training.

Excavation and trenching are among the most hazardous construction operations. OSHA's standard, 1926, Subpart P, Excavations, contains requirements for excavation and trenching operations.

Proper trenching operations are necessary to protect the workers from soil collapse. The basic trenching operations that help make a trench safe for workers are described and illustrated in this course. The methods of shoring installation are also discussed briefly. This course is not intended to be used as a step-by-step guideline in the excavation process.

This course highlights methods for protecting employees against cave-ins, and describes safe work practices for employees. A necessary first step in planning the approach to any trenching or other excavation project is to understand what could go wrong. This understanding can help avoid many of the problems associated with excavation.

This course is also not intended to be a guideline for compliance with all pertinent OSHA regulations, but rather an overview of safe practices in trenching operations. Though the course is not intended to be inconsistent with OSHA standards, if an area is considered by the reader to be inconsistent, the OSHA standard should be followed.

Modules and Learning Objectives

Click on the links below to access the modules. You can also click on the links at the top of the page.

Module 1 - The Hazards

Learning objectives in this module include:

  • Describe the difference between an excavation and a trench.
  • Describe some common soil problems that create hazards in excavations.
  • Describe soil mechanics causing tension cracks, slide or sluffing, and heaving or squeezing.
  • Discuss how soil is weighed and how soil weight is a major hazard for excavation workers.
  • Describe the differences among Type A, B, and C soils in terms of stability.
  • Describe the various visual and manual soil testing methods.
  • Discuss the role of and requirements for the excavation competent person.

Module 2 - Protection Systems

Learning objectives in this module include:

  • Describe the importance of completing pre-job planning activities.
  • Describe the three primary protection methods: sloping, shoring, and shielding, and give examples.
  • Briefly describe the steps in installing and removal of protective systems.
  • Discuss the design requirements for sloping and shoring, the use of data, and trench boxes.
  • Discuss the design requirements for benching.
  • Describe the use of hydraulic and pneumatic shoring systems.
  • Discuss the requirements for safe ingress into and egress from excavations.
  • Discuss various additional safety precautions for workers while working in the excavation.

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Course 157 Final Exam

Exam score sheet

After studying the course material and answering the quiz questions, it is time to take the final exam. We highly recommend answering the module quiz questions to check your understanding of the course material. The final exam questions are typically developed from these quiz questions.

OSHAcademy course final exams are designed to make sure students have gained a sufficient understanding of the content covered within each course. To help demonstrate this understanding, students must achieve a passing score on course final exams. It is OSHAcademy's policy to protect the integrity of our exams: as a result, we do not provide missed questions to students.

This is an open book exam. Students are permitted to use a separate browser window to review course content while taking the exam. If you do not pass a final exam, you will see a "Retake Exam" button next to the course on your student dashboard.

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