|Topic: Trenching and Excavation over Three Metres Deep||Issued by: Director, Compliance and Regulatory Review|
|Statute: General Regulation 91-191||Date Issued: October 20, 2016|
|Section: 49(1)(a)(i)||Date Revised:|
How does fall protection apply if a trench or excavation is over three metres deep and employees are on the surface?
In some situations, providing and using fall-protection equipment is required if an excavation or trench is deeper than three metres and there is a risk of falling. If the excavation or trench is properly benched or sloped, the employees near the edge would probably not be exposed to a fall of three metres or more. In this example, fall protection would most likely not be required.
If the trench or excavation is not sloped or benched and trench boxes, shoring or bracing is used, then warning lines, barriers or guardrails are required. However, in some circumstances the added weight of these measures may present the risk of cave-ins. In these cases, providing other types of fall protection is required.
As an alternative to traditional fall-protection methods, a risk assessment would be required. When selecting the control methods, the employer can consider removing or limiting the risk of falling by:
Whatever method is chosen, it should include a written procedure and training explaining the requirements to affected workers.
Note: Warning lines must be:
49(1) The employer shall provide and the employee shall continually use a fall-protection system when an employee works from
(a) an unguarded work area that is
(i) 3 m or more above water or the nearest permanent safe level,