1. A competent person performs an inspection.
  2. Cave-in protection and safe means of entry and exit are established.
  3. Equipment and materials are cleared from the edge.
  4. Standing water and atmospheric hazards are removed.

    The resource also outlines the “slope it, shore it, shield it” approach to trench protective systems, which must be in place when trenches are 5 feet or deeper – unless the excavation occurs
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