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Catalog > Construction > Trenching & Excavation Safety

Trenching & Excavation Safety

Online Training Certification Course

29 CFR 1926 Subpart P

From the highest rated and most trusted online training company - since 2008.

This trenching and excavation online training course details best practices that enhance safety on the job site. Course topics include hazard recognition, protective system requirements, and soil classification.

Trenching and excavating work presents serious hazards to all worksite personnel. Without proper excavation safety training, employees could fail to notice small imperfections in systems or equipment that could lead to serious complications, including cave-ins. Most workers caught in a cave-in are either seriously injured or killed.

This course is for:
This OSHA trench safety course is designed for anyone who works in or around excavations and trenches, including all applicable employers, supervisors, and workers. This safety training may help prevent serious injury in the workplace and save lives.

Case Study: In 2016, several workers in Kentucky were laying a sewage pipe in a trench excavation. The trench was just over 12 feet deep, and in order to provide a safe workspace, a trench box was placed inside. However, the trench box measured only 8 feet - 4 feet too short. In addition, the parking lot surrounding the trench already showed signs of distress and previous excavation, and no testing to determine an appropriate protective system was conducted prior to beginning work. Two workers were together in the trench box when a portion of the trench wall collapsed, dropping a large amount of soil and concrete on top of the workers. One worker was completely buried, and his coworker was trapped and immobilized from the waist down. Although coworkers and professional rescue services attempted to extract the workers, the worker who was fully buried was pronounced dead at the scene from asphyxiation and blunt force injuries from the falling material.

Key Takeaway: Protective systems are only effective when they are properly implemented. Trench boxes and shoring should extend at least to the top of the excavation, if not further. In addition, there was no testing done prior to work beginning, and there was no easy means of egress from the trench box. Had the protective systems been measured and constructed correctly for the task at hand, the accident could have been prevented and a life saved.

Available languages: 100+ languages - translation provided by Google Translate (Select Language bottom of page)

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  • Printable certificate and wallet card awarded upon successful completion

Governing Regulations

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor, is charged with the enforcement of safety and health conditions of workers through the use of regulations published in the Code of Federal Regulations. OSHA regulations are published in Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Part 1926 is designated for construction industry standards. This online certification course focuses on requirements described in OSHA 29 CFR 1926, Subpart P.

What You'll Learn

    Introduction to Trenching and Excavation Safety Training
  • Regulations for Trenching and Excavating
  • Definitions and Key Terms
  • What Is an Excavation?
    Specific Excavation Requirements
  • Underground Installations
  • Entering and Coming Out of Excavations
  • Other Hazardous Exposures
  • Mobile Equipment
  • Hazardous Atmospheres
  • Emergency Rescue Equipment
  • Protection from Hazards of Water Accumulation
  • Stability of Nearby Structures
  • Protection of Employees from Loose Rock or Soil
  • Inspections
  • Walkways
    Requirements for Protective Systems
  • Design of Sloping and Benching Systems
  • Design of Support Systems, Shield Systems, and Other Protective Systems
  • Materials and Equipment
  • Installation and Removal of Support
  • Additional Requirements for Support Systems for Trench Excavations
  • Working Above Employees Using Sloping and Benching Systems
  • Shield Systems
  • Soil Classification (Appendix A)
    • Requirements for Sloping and Benching
    • Configurations of Sloping and Benching Systems
    • Slope Configurations for Excavations Made in Type A Soil
    • Slope Configurations for Excavations Made in Type B Soil
    • Slope Configurations for Excavations Made in Type C Soil
    • Slope Configurations for Excavations Made in Layered Soils
  • Sloping and Benching (Appendix B)
    • Definitions
    • Requirements of Soil Classification
    • Acceptable Visual Tests of Excavation Sites
    • Acceptable Manual Tests of Excavation Sites
  • Timber Shoring for Trenches (Appendix C)
    • Aluminum Hydraulic Shoring for Trenches (Appendix D)
    • Alternatives to Timber Shoring (Appendix E)
    • Selection of Protective Systems (Appendix F)
    Employer and Employee Responsibilities
    Additional Resources

It will take a MINIMUM of 2 hours to complete this online course. The student may log on and off as needed. A bookmark will be set so when they log back in they will return to where they left off.

We have no restrictions on how long a person takes to complete a course. Likewise, if you are purchasing for others, we have no time limit on assigning courses. So you can purchase a larger quantity than you currently need and take advantage of volume discounts.

Employers are responsible for training new personnel before assigning them to tasks that may expose them to hazards such as being buried alive.

To ensure compliance with OSHA 29 CFR 1926.21, safety training must be conducted periodically and as-needed to instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions. This trenching and excavation training meets these training requirements.

Each student will receive 0.2 CEUs (or 2 CMEs) from Compliance Training Online® for completing this course.

Terrise S Verified
Trenching and Excavating


Hector S Verified
Trenching and Excavating

It was easy to understand and get done, great system to use; I highly recommend it.

Luis S Verified
Trenching and Excavating

Very complete course about safety in trenches.

Michael H Verified
Trenching and Excavating

I think it was very educational and informational

Fernando R Verified
Trenching and Excavating

Muy interesante y informativo

Michael B Verified
Trenching and Excavating

Very helpful

Michael N Verified
Trenching and Excavating

great exams to meet OSHA standards

Katherine B Verified
Trenching and Excavating

I thought that this training was excellent. Very thorough and provided the key information needed.

William P Verified
Trenching and Excavating

Thank you for allowing me to gain much used knowledge , I am grateful to be part of this.

Stephan C Verified
Trenching and Excavating

It was good

Edgar S Verified
Trenching and Excavating

It’s good to refresh your memory on trenching

Edgar G Verified
Trenching and Excavating

Great experience, this course will be helpful in the future.

Antonio V Verified
Trenching and Excavating

I thought it was very informative. Though I've worked in Trenching sites in the past, there was more to the levels of soil than I expected. It help me to think about the value of my life and the lives of my co-workers.

Mark B Verified
Trenching and Excavating

The course was very informative and moved at a good pace.

Carmelo M Verified
Trenching and Excavating

Very informative. Provided insight to trench safety requirements and what to look for.

James F Verified
Trenching and Excavating

Your site is a great resource and very well thought we will be back

Westley G Verified
Trenching and Excavating

I enjoyed the course and learned some things. Thank you.

Stephen K Verified
Trenching and Excavating

I really liked it and the option of taking my time on each slide and moving to the next slide when I am ready.

Michael H Verified
Trenching and Excavating

Very informative, think its smart to have the self-quizzes in the middle to keep the reader engaged and give them points to back and read if they get it wrong.



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