Access & Egress
Excavation Entry & Exit / WCB 20.87
Safe means of entry & exit must be provided for an excavation a worker enters
2. If workers are required to enter a trench over 1.2 m (4 ft) deep, the safe point of entry and exit must be located within 8 m (25 ft) of the workers and the excavation must be safely supported or sloped to the entry and exit location.
3. Walkways must be secured to prevent dislodgment
4. The open side of an access route into an excavation used by mobile equipment must have a curb
* Stairways, ladders, ramps, end sloping, benching or other safe means of egress are all acceptable means of entry & exit in a trench over 4 Ft (1.2 m)
The decision to choose a ramp, stair system or a ladder to enter & exit an excavation depends on the allowable slope or angle that the sides are cut back. In trench shields (Cages), where the sides are nearly vertical (between 75° and 90°), a ladder would be appropriate; ladders must never be used at angles less than 60°. Between 30° and 50° from the horizontal, use a stair system (job-made wood type or earth benched). Less than 20° from horizontal, a ramp can be safely used (unassisted) while maintaining an upright position.