Trenching and Shoring

Updated December 19, 2023

What You Need to Know

  • The trench must be inspected by the competent person daily before any my enter.
  • Never enter a trench filled with water or if open utilities are showing.
  • Competent person requirements: contact the FM Safety Coordinator 949-824-5066 or EHS 949-824-6200.
  • Training requirements:
    • Awareness level – offered online or in-person class
    • Competent Person – contact EHS for assistance
  • Dig Alert - (811)


Trenching and Shoring Program
Please contact Jennie Wung at 949-880-4270 or if you have any questions regarding the UCI Trenching and Shoring Program.

PPE requirements

  • The requirements will vary according to each confined space so please contact EHS for clarification but the basic PPE needs will consist of the following: hard hat, protective boots/shoes, googles/safety glasses, protective clothing, and protective gloves. Additional PPE requirements (entry specific): harness, tripod, respirator.
  • Hazardous atmosphere equipment: 4-gas meter, air blower/ventilation.

*Always consult with EHS and/or the competent person for trench-specific PPE requirements*


  • 4-gas meters are only to be used by trained personnel. Otherwise a representative from EHS must be present to verify gas readings. Meters must be calibrated before use and in current annual calibration requirements.
  • All equipment shall be inspected before use to verify it is in good condition.
  • Never enter a trench unless cleared by the competent person.
  • Traffic control shall be used in area where there is traffic.
  • Trench will be benched or shored as required by soil type and depth. (Competent person will make that decision).
  • Utilities shall be checked and marked ahead of project by checking with Dig Alert.

Purchasing guidelines

  • If you have questions on trench shoring or other equipment, please check with EHS prior to purchase by contacting us at 949-824-6200.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • A narrow excavation that is deeper than it is wide (at least 4 feet deep).
  • No more than 15 feet wide at the bottom.
  • Soil Strength.
  • Soil Type.
  • There are 3 type of Soil: Class A, Class B, Class C.
  • UCI is considered Class C, unless classified if differently by a competent person. No soil at UCI will be classified as Type A.
  • Initial classification of soil and trench.
  • Ability to test for hazards.
  • Daily inspection of trench.
  • Inspects trench as required or after any condition changes.
  • Has authority of stop work.
  • A ladder/ramp/stair may be used.
  • An egress must be provided ever 25 ft. off lateral travel.