The evolution of trench protection systems and how to choose the right one

Marcia Gruver Doyle Pix
Updated Jul 16, 2018

Sloping. Shoring. Shielding. The basics of trench protection pre-date OSHA’s 1989 regulation, yet many contractors still act like they’re a mystery.

“You read trench collapse investigations, and it always starts with ‘we didn’t know,’” says Mitch Post, training and technical services manager for Mabey, a trench shoring manufacturer based in Elkridge, Maryland. “No one goes into work thinking, ‘Hey, I’m going to do something that gets someone killed today.’”

“Our biggest competitor is noncompliance,” says Dave Nicoli with distributor D. P. Nicoli, Tualatin, Oregon. “They think, ‘This will just take a minute.’ They think they don’t want to waste time putting a trench box in.” …