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One In Nine American Bridges Are Falling Apart What Contractors Need To Know Before Going In

Shoring system

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Our nation is facing a traveling epidemic. Not by air or by sea, but through the constant use of small to large bridges throughout the country. Nearly two hundred million trips are taken on a daily basis across struggling, deficient bridges in the top 100 metropolitan areas. At this rate these structures won’t hold up over the next few decades, causing billions of dollars in repairs and possible damages to both property and persons. This makes safe excavation and repair procedures more important than ever. Different types of shoring, construction equipment and safety hazards all need to work in harmony to provide the most reliable result possible for America’s everyday workers. Below is an overview of basic safety procedures as defined by OSHA so any and all scaffolding can be completed reliably.

Check For Atmospheric Hazards

Workers and bystanders alike need a safe environment at all times. This isn’t merely using the right trench box dimensions or temporary road mats — it’s being in tune with nature itself. Due to the nature of releasing gases through deep trench digging many hazards can be exposed that would otherwise be contained in the earth. Testing for atmospheric hazards, such as low oxygen levels or the presence of hazardous fumes, can make the proceeding project much safer. Additional breathing equipment, such as masks, can be provided for maximum security.

Provide Steady Access To Projects

Projects are on a strict budget and time limit more often than not. In order to help them proceed smoothly there needs to be steady access to and from the site for all parties. OSHA, short for ‘occupational safety and health administration’, requires safe access to all excavations. This includes, but is not limited to, ladders, steps and ramps. These devices also need to be located within 25 feet of all workers. Failing to comply with OSHA regulations risks undermining the operation as a whole.

Know Your Different Types Of Shoring

There are multiple types of shoring that can be used in any given project. There are two basic types of shoring available to your crew, timber and aluminum hydraulic, and the type that’s required depends on various factors. Shoring are also classified into the following three classes based on either their supporting characteristics or where they are positioned in a given space. Raking or Inclined Shores, Flying or Horizontal Shores and Dead Or Vertical Shores are the most common.

Become Familiar With Unique Soil Qualities

Soil quality is one of the most necessary sources of knowledge for any construction worker or contractor. This is due to the unique properties any form of soil can have at any given time, creating anywhere from a reliable environment to an unsteady and unsafe working space. Type A soils are cohesive soils with an unconfined compressive strength, often called clay, sandy clay or clay loam. Type B soils are cohesive soils with a lower compressive strength, sometimes called angular gravel or silt.

Prepare For A Safe And Efficient Excavation Process

There is a lot of work that needs to be done concerning the nation’s bridges. There are over 600,000 bridges across the United States, with a higher concentration in metropolitan areas than rural areas. Studies have shown at least one in nine of the nation’s bridges are rated as structurally deficient and actively deteriorating, with the average age of the nation’s bridges at around 42 years. In order to prevent the worst from happening construction workers need to create the safest working environment possible. It’s not enough to simply use different types of shoring or the most advanced powerbrace. You need to be aware of all outside factors to ensure safety is both the reality and the goal.

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