When Does a Building Become the Side of a Trench

Dated: June 2016 Display all Projects
Principal: Lady Allum Rest Home & Village
Location: Milford, Auckland
Contractor: Argon Construction
Product: Vertishore Hydraulic Soldier Shores

Now that Worksafe New Zealand has released the new Good Practice Guideline for Excavation Safety, many examples of excavation situations can be found in the document, together with a range of solutions. This is a departure from the old Code of Practice which had a narrow focus on the types of excavations and limited options for making them safe.

One such situation is unique to the building industry, both residential and commercial. It occurs when a cut is made for a building platform, usually on a sloping site, followed by the construction of the external walls of the building. Once the external walls have been built, the walls adjacent to the cut face require water-proofing before being backfilled.

But now, the space between the outside of the wall and the cut face, has become a potentially dangerous trench, requiring some form of shoring protection before any workers can safely enter and apply the water-proofing membrane.

Not many shoring systems are suitable for this application. However, TSNZ can supply super lightweight GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) or aluminium Vertishore Hydraulic Soldier Shoring. Soldier shoring is placed by hand, due to its light weight, progressively at intervals of 1.5m - 2m maximum. Each set of two soldiers is pumped out using a hydraulic water filled hand pump until the required pressure of around 450 psi is reached and maintained. Once all soldier pairs are in place it is safe for workers to enter the "trench" to apply water-proofing. To waterproof the small areas covered by the 200mm wide Vertishore, an additional set is placed alongside and the initial set removed.

Gripshore GRP Vertishores are available from TSNZ in 1.6m long or 2.1m long sizes and aluminium Vertishores are available in 1.5m.

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