A description of the proposed changes are as follows:

1. TITLE 8:

Chapter 4, Subchapter 4, Article 6, Section 1541.1

Requirements for Trench Shoring Systems ***


Section 1541.1 Requirements for Protective Systems

Section 1541.1 pertains to the general requirements to protect employees in excavations and is applicable to all employers engaged in underground construction work. Subsections (a) through (g) contain specific requirements for individual protective systems. Subsection (a) addresses the scope and application for the various protective systems. Subsection (b) applies to the design of sloping and benching systems and is divided into options (1) through (4). Subsection (c) pertains to the design of support systems, shield systems, and other protective systems also with options (1) through (4). Subsection (d), (e), and (f) order various requirements for maintaining equipment in safe operations, installing/removing protective systems supports, and protection of employees working on sloping and benching systems. Finally, subsection (g) provides regulations for protection of employees working in shield systems. Additionally, there are Appendices A through F, which address soil classification, sloping and benching, timber shoring for trenches, aluminum hydraulic shoring for trenches, alternatives to timber shoring, and selection of protective systems.

Section 1541.1, New Subsection (h)

Examples (1) through (5) in Appendix D illustrate the use of the tabular data that is present in Tables D-1.1, D-1.2, D-1.3, D-1.4. Figures No. 1 through No. 4 present the different configurations that are acceptable to the Division when installing trench shoring systems. The Figures also include shoring with spot bracing, shoring with plywood attached to the uprights, a stacked shoring system, and shoring with walers. Figures No. 1 and No. 2 clearly show vertical uprights placed or installed with the ends of uprights extending to the top of the trench. In this configuration, protective shoring will prevent the collapse or sloughing of the upper portion of the excavation.

New subsection 1541.1(h) will require the upper end of shoring uprights to extend to the top of the trench and the lower end to be placed within 2 feet from the bottom of the trench. The effect of the proposed action is to require employers to install protective shoring in a manner that will protect employees from the hazards of loose or raveling soil.

Section 1541.1 Appendix D, Subsection (g)(7)

Appendix D contains the necessary regulations, descriptive figures, and informational tables, which are used in designing and installing protective shoring systems. These protective systems prevent cave-ins in excavations and trenches that do not exceed 20 feet in depth. Figures No. 1 through No. 4 illustrate acceptable configurations for the different shoring systems. Tables D-1.1 through D-1.4 provide additional data to the public on the means to properly select and place shoring at varying trench depths and widths.

The regulations in subsection (a) through (g) to Appendix D pertain to the classification of soils, the specifications for hydraulic cylinders used in shoring and other requirements when installing protective systems. Specifically, subsection (g)(7) stipulates that only plywood of a specified thickness and/or grade may be used with hydraulic shores to prevent raveling or sloughing problems. The plywood must be 1.125 inches thick or .75 inch thick, 14 ply, and arctic white birch, (Finland form). No other types of plywood or other material are currently permitted.

A revision is proposed to allow the use of other "equivalent material" when it can be "approved in accordance with Section 1505(a)". Section 1505(a) provides the means to obtain an approval for a product by having the product evaluated by either a person, firm, or entity with appropriate registered engineering competence, or by a person, firm, or entity, independent of the manufacturer. The effect of the proposed amendment is to minimize the current restrictive nature of the regulation and allow the regulated public more opportunities to choose from a wider range of products.

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