For more information on this topic, see the related feature article: Take 7 Steps to Comply with Trench & Excavation Requirements
|KNOW THE LAWS: Guarding Requirements for Trenches and Excavations
Here are the requirements in the OHS regulations in each jurisdiction for barricades, barriers or other types of guarding around trenches and/or excavations:
Where an excavation or trench constitutes a hazard to employees, a highly visible barricade must be installed around it [Sec. 3.12(2)].
|AB||OHS Code 2009:
If there’s a danger of a worker or equipment falling into an excavation, an employer must ensure that workers are made aware of the excavation through flagging, marking, safeguards or other appropriate and effective means [Sec. 444].
If an excavation is a hazard to workers, it must be effectively covered or guarded [Sec. 20.88].
|MB||Workplace Safety and Health Regulation:
1. When excavation work is being carried out adjacent to an area where the public or a worker who isn’t usually engaged in the work may pass, an employer must ensure that the excavation is adequately guarded by a fence, guardrail or covering sufficient to prevent a person from falling into the excavation [Sec. 26.12(1)].
2. If there’s a danger of a worker falling into an excavation that’s more than three metres deep, an employer must ensure that the excavation is adequately guarded by a fence, guardrail or covering sufficient to prevent a worker from falling into the excavation [Sec. 26.12(2)].
3. When an excavation poses a hazard to traffic because it’s located close to a roadway, an employer must ensure that reflective traffic control devices are installed around the excavation [Sec. 26.12(3)].
An employer must ensure that an adequate barrier is set up around the excavation or trench to protect employees working in the excavation or trench from vehicular traffic [Sec. 188(2)].
|NL||OHS Regulations, 2012:
Excavations must be guarded by effective railings or barriers to prevent workers from falling into excavations [Sec. 410(1)].
|NT/NU||General Safety Regulations:
Where an excavation constitutes a hazard to workers, it must be covered or substantial guardrails or barriers must be installed around the exposed sides [Sec. 429].
|NS||Occupational Safety General Regulations:
An employer must provide, at or near the sides of all temporary excavations greater than 1.2 m in depth, fences, guards or barricades that prevent a person from falling into an excavation and must keep those fences, guards or barricades in place at all times, except where they interfere with the excavation or other work being done [Sec. 169(4)].
|ON||Construction Projects Regulation:
If a person could fall into an excavation that’s more than 2.4 metres deep, a barrier at least 1.1 metres high must be provided at the top of every wall of the excavation that’s not sloped [Sec. 233(4)].
1. The employer must ensure that an excavation or trench is adequately illuminated, has adequate warning lights conspicuously displayed and has a barricade at all times while employees are working in the excavation or trench [Sec. 12.11(1)].
2. Where an excavation or trench is made, the employer must ensure that:a. adequate barricades are erected; and b. at night, adequate warning lights are used [Sec. 12.11(2)].
|QC||Regulation respecting occupational health and safety:
Excavations, wells or basins presenting a falling hazard must be solidly covered or protected with guardrails on all exposed sides [Sec. 9].
Continuous barriers or barricades of a minimum height of 0.7 m or a warning line as provided for in Sec. 126.96.36.199, must be set up on the edge of any escarpment or digging:a. whose depth is more than 3 m; orb. which might constitute a hazard to workers or the public in general [Sec. 3.15.5].
An employer or contractor must ensure that a temporary protective structure to be used pursuant to this Part extends at least 300 mm above the wall of the excavation, trench, tunnel, excavated shaft or borehole to prevent material from falling in [Sec. 261(1)(b)].
Where traffic crossing plates need to be used, shoring must not extend above ground level provided that other measures are taken to prevent excavated and other material from entering the excavation or trench [Sec. 10.65(6)].