(1) Scope and application. This part applies to all open excavations made in the earth's surface. Excavations are defined to include trenches.
(2) Definitions applicable to this part.
(a) "Accepted engineering requirements or practices." Those requirements which are compatible with standards of practice required by a registered professional engineer.
(b) "Aluminum hydraulic shoring." A preengineered shoring system comprised of aluminum hydraulic cylinders (crossbraces) used in conjunction with vertical rails (uprights) or horizontal rails (walers). Such system is designed, specifically to support the sidewalls of an excavation and prevent cave-ins.
(c) "Bell-bottom pier hole." A type of shaft or footing excavation, the bottom of which is made larger than the cross section above to form a belled shape.
(d) "Benching (benching system)." A method of protecting employees from cave-ins by excavating the sides of an excavation to form one or a series of horizontal levels or steps, usually with vertical or near-vertical surfaces between levels.
(e) "Cave-in." The separation of a mass of soil or rock material from the side of an excavation, or loss of soil from under a trench shield or support system, and its sudden movement into the excavation in quantity that it could entrap, bury, injure, or immobilize a person.
(f) "Competent person." One who can identify existing or predictable hazards in the surroundings that are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees. Also has authorization or authority by the nature of their position to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them. The person shall be knowledgeable in the requirements of this part.
(g) "Cross braces." The horizontal members of a shoring system installed perpendicular to the sides of the excavation, the ends of which bear against either uprights or wales.
(h) "Excavation." Any person-made cut, cavity, trench, or depression in the earth's surface, formed by earth removal.
(i) "Faces or sides." The vertical or inclined earth surfaces formed as a result of excavation work.
(j) "Failure." The breakage, displacement, or permanent deformation of a structural member or connection so as to reduce its structural integrity and its supportive capabilities.
(k) "Hazardous atmosphere." A atmosphere which by reason of being explosive, flammable, poisonous, corrosive, oxidizing, irritating, oxygen deficient, toxic, or otherwise harmful, may cause death, illness, or injury.
(l) "Kickouts." Accidental release or failure of a cross brace.
(m) "Protective system." A method of protecting employees from cave-ins, from material that could fall or roll from an excavation face or into an excavation, or from the collapse of adjacent structures. Protective systems include support systems, sloping and benching systems, shield systems, and other systems that provide the necessary protection.
(n) "Ramp." An inclined walking or working surface that is used to gain access to one point to another, and is constructed from earth or from structural materials such as steel or wood.
(o) "Registered professional engineer." A person who is registered as a professional engineer in the state of Washington. The registered professional engineer shall comply with the Washington state department of licensing requirements, chapter 18.43
(p) "Sheeting." The members of a shoring system that retain the earth in position and in turn are supported by other members of the shoring system.
(q) "Shield (shield system)." A structure that is able to withstand the forces imposed on it by a cave-in and thereby protect employees within the structure. Shields can be permanent structures or can be designed to be portable and moved along as work progresses. Additionally, shields can be either premanufactured or job-built in accordance with WAC 296-155-657
(3)(c) or (d). Shields used in trenches are usually referred to as "trench boxes" or "trench shields."
(r) "Shoring (shoring system)." A structure such as a metal hydraulic, mechanical, or timber shoring system that supports the sides of an excavation and which is designed to prevent cave-ins.
(s) "Sides." See "faces."
(t) "Sloping (sloping system)." A method of protecting employees from cave-ins by excavating to form sides of an excavation that are inclined away from the excavation so as to prevent cave-ins. The angle of incline required to prevent a cave-in varies with differences in such factors as the soil type, environmental conditions of exposure, and application of surcharge loads.
(u) "Stable rock." A natural solid mineral material that can be excavated with vertical sides and will remain intact while exposed. Unstable rock is considered to be stable when the rock material on the side or sides of the excavation is secured against caving-in or movement by rock bolts or by another protective system that has been designed by a registered professional engineer.
(v) "Structural ramp." A ramp built of steel or wood, usually used for vehicle access. Ramps made of soil or rock are not considered structural ramps.
(w) "Support system." A structure such as underpinning, bracing or shoring, which provides support to an adjacent structure, underground installation, or the sides of an excavation.
(x) "Tabulated data." Tables and charts approved by a registered professional engineer and used to design and construct a protective system.
(y) "Trench (trench excavation)." A narrow excavation in relation to its length made below the surface of the ground. In general, the depth is greater than the width, but the width of a trench (measured at the bottom) is not greater than 15 feet (4.6m). If forms or other structures are installed or constructed in an excavation so as to reduce the dimension measured from the forms or structure to the side of the excavation to 15 feet (4.6 m) or less (measured at the bottom of the excavation), the excavation is also considered to be a trench.
(z) Trench box. See "shield."
(aa) "Trench shield." See "shield."
(bb) "Uprights." The vertical members of a trench shoring system placed in contact with the earth and usually positioned so that individual members do not contact each other. Uprights placed so that individual members are closely spaced, in contact with or interconnected to each other, are often called "sheeting."
(cc) "Wales." Horizontal members of a shoring system placed parallel to the excavation face whose sides bear against the vertical members of the shoring system or earth.
[Statutory Authority: Chapter 49.17 RCW. 94-15-096 (Order 94-07), § 296-155-650, filed 7/20/94, effective 9/20/94. Statutory Authority: Chapter 49.17 RCW and RCW 49.17.040, [49.17].050 and [49.17].060. 92-22-067 (Order 92-06), § 296-155-650, filed 10/30/92, effective 12/8/92. Statutory Authority: Chapter 49.17 RCW. 91-03-044 (Order 90-18), § 296-155-650, filed 1/10/91, effective 2/12/91. Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.040 and 49.17.050. 86-03-074 (Order 86-14), § 296-155-650, filed 1/21/86. Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.040, 49.17.050 and 49.17.240. 81-13-053 (Order 81-9), § 296-155-650, filed 6/17/81; Order 74-26, § 296-155-650, filed 5/7/74, effective 6/6/74.]