29 CFR Part 1926, Subpart P, Appendix C to Subpart P of Part 1926 - Timber Shoring for Trenches

Status message

There are 5 Updates appearing in the Federal Register for 29 CFR 1926. View below or at eCFR (GPOAccess)
View PDF at GPO Pt. 1926, Subpt. P, App. C
Appendix C to Subpart P of Part 1926—Timber Shoring for Trenches
(a) Scope. This appendix contains information that can be used timber shoring is provided as a method of protection from cave-ins in trenches that do not exceed 20 feet (6.1 m) in depth. This appendix must be used when design of timber shoring protective systems is to be performed in accordance with § 1926.652(c)(1). Other timber shoring configurations; other systems of support such as hydraulic and pneumatic systems; and other protective systems such as sloping, benching, shielding, and freezing systems must be designed in accordance with the requirements set forth in § 1926.652(b) and § 1926.652(c).
(b) Soil Classification. In order to use the data presented in this appendix, the soil type or types in which the excavation is made must first be determined using the soil classification method set forth in appendix A of subpart P of this part.
(c) Presentation of Information. Information is presented in several forms as follows:
(1) Information is presented in tabular form in Tables C-1.1, C-1.2, and C-1.3, and Tables C-2.1, C-2.2 and C-2.3 following paragraph (g) of the appendix. Each table presents the minimum sizes of timber members to use in a shoring system, and each table contains data only for the particular soil type in which the excavation or portion of the excavation is made. The data are arranged to allow the user the flexibility to select from among several acceptable configurations of members based on varying the horizontal spacing of the crossbraces. Stable rock is exempt from shoring requirements and therefore, no data are presented for this condition.
(2) Information concerning the basis of the tabular data and the limitations of the data is presented in paragraph (d) of this appendix, and on the tables themselves.
(3) Information explaining the use of the tabular data is presented in paragraph (e) of this appendix.
(4) Information illustrating the use of the tabular data is presented in paragraph (f) of this appendix.
(5) Miscellaneous notations regarding Tables C-1.1 through C-1.3 and Tables C-2.1 through C-2.3 are presented in paragraph (g) of this Appendix.
(d) Basis and limitations of the data—(1) Dimensions of timber members. (i) The sizes of the timber members listed in Tables C-1.1 through C-1.3 are taken from the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) report, “Recommended Technical Provisions for Construction Practice in Shoring and Sloping of Trenches and Excavations.” In addition, where NBS did not recommend specific sizes of members, member sizes are based on an analysis of the sizes required for use by existing codes and on empirical practice.
(ii) The required dimensions of the members listed in Tables C-1.1 through C-1.3 refer to actual dimensions and not nominal dimensions of the timber. Employers wanting to use nominal size shoring are directed to Tables C-2.1 through C-2.3, or have this choice under § 1926.652(c)(3), and are referred to The Corps of Engineers, The Bureau of Reclamation or data from other acceptable sources.
(2) Limitation of application. (i) It is not intended that the timber shoring specification apply to every situation that may be experienced in the field. These data were developed to apply to the situations that are most commonly experienced in current trenching practice. Shoring systems for use in situations that are not covered by the data in this appendix must be designed as specified in § 1926.652(c).
(ii) When any of the following conditions are present, the members specified in the tables are not considered adequate. Either an alternate timber shoring system must be designed or another type of protective system designed in accordance with § 1926.652.
(A) When loads imposed by structures or by stored material adjacent to the trench weigh in excess of the load imposed by a two-foot soil surcharge. The term “adjacent” as used here means the area within a horizontal distance from the edge of the trench equal to the depth of the trench.
(B) When vertical loads imposed on cross braces exceed a 240-pound gravity load distributed on a one-foot section of the center of the crossbrace.
(C) When surcharge loads are present from equipment weighing in excess of 20,000 pounds.
(D) When only the lower portion of a trench is shored and the remaining portion of the trench is sloped or benched unless: The sloped portion is sloped at an angle less steep than three horizontal to one vertical; or the members are selected from the tables for use at a depth which is determined from the top of the overall trench, and not from the toe of the sloped portion.
(e) Use of Tables. The members of the shoring system that are to be selected using this information are the cross braces, the uprights, and the wales, where wales are required. Minimum sizes of members are specified for use in different types of soil. There are six tables of information, two for each soil type. The soil type must first be determined in accordance with the soil classification system described in appendix A to subpart P of part 1926. Using the appropriate table, the selection of the size and spacing of the members is then made. The selection is based on the depth and width of the trench where the members are to be installed and, in most instances, the selection is also based on the horizontal spacing of the crossbraces. Instances where a choice of horizontal spacing of crossbracing is available, the horizontal spacing of the crossbraces must be chosen by the user before the size of any member can be determined. When the soil type, the width and depth of the trench, and the horizontal spacing of the crossbraces are known, the size and vertical spacing of the crossbraces, the size and vertical spacing of the wales, and the size and horizontal spacing of the uprights can be read from the appropriate table.
(f) Examples to Illustrate the Use of Tables C-1.1 through C-1.3.
(1) Example 1.
A trench dug in Type A soil is 13 feet deep and five feet wide.
From Table C-1.1, for acceptable arrangements of timber can be used.
Arrangement #B1
Space 4×4 crossbraces at six feet horizontally and four feet vertically.
Wales are not required.
Space 3×8 uprights at six feet horizontally. This arrangement is commonly called “skip shoring.”
Arrangement #B2
Space 4×6 crossbraces at eight feet horizontally and four feet vertically.
Space 8×8 wales at four feet vertically.
Space 2×6 uprights at four feet horizontally.
Arrangement #B3
Space 6×6 crossbraces at 10 feet horizontally and four feet vertically.
Space 8×10 wales at four feet vertically.
Space 2×6 uprights at five feet horizontally.
Arrangement #B4
Space 6×6 crossbraces at 12 feet horizontally and four feet vertically.
Space 10×10 wales at four feet vertically.
Spaces 3×8 uprights at six feet horizontally.
(2) Example 2.
A trench dug in Type B soil in 13 feet deep and five feet wide. From Table C-1.2 three acceptable arrangements of members are listed.
Arrangement #B1
Space 6×6 crossbraces at six feet horizontally and five feet vertically.
Space 8×8 wales at five feet vertically.
Space 2×6 uprights at two feet horizontally.
Arrangement #B2
Space 6×8 crossbraces at eight feet horizontally and five feet vertically.
Space 10×10 wales at five feet vertically.
Space 2×6 uprights at two feet horizontally.
Arrangement #B3
Space 8×8 crossbraces at 10 feet horizontally and five feet vertically.
Space 10×12 wales at five feet vertically.
Space 2×6 uprights at two feet vertically.
(3) Example 3.
A trench dug in Type C soil is 13 feet deep and five feet wide.
From Table C-1.3 two acceptable arrangements of members can be used.
Arrangement #B1
Space 8×8 crossbraces at six feet horizontally and five feet vertically.
Space 10×12 wales at five feet vertically.
Position 2×6 uprights as closely together as possible.
If water must be retained use special tongue and groove uprights to form tight sheeting.
Arrangement #B2
Space 8×10 crossbraces at eight feet horizontally and five feet vertically.
Space 12×12 wales at five feet vertically.
Position 2×6 uprights in a close sheeting configuration unless water pressure must be resisted. Tight sheeting must be used where water must be retained.
(4) Example 4.
A trench dug in Type C soil is 20 feet deep and 11 feet wide. The size and spacing of members for the section of trench that is over 15 feet in depth is determined using Table C-1.3. Only one arrangement of members is provided.
Space 8×10 crossbraces at six feet horizontally and five feet vertically.
Space 12×12 wales at five feet vertically.
Use 3×6 tight sheeting.
Use of Tables C-2.1 through C-2.3 would follow the same procedures.
(g) Notes for all Tables.
1. Member sizes at spacings other than indicated are to be determined as specified in § 1926.652(c), “Design of Protective Systems.”
2. When conditions are saturated or submerged use Tight Sheeting. Tight Sheeting refers to the use of specially-edged timber planks (e.g., tongue and groove) at least three inches thick, steel sheet piling, or similar construction that when driven or placed in position provide a tight wall to resist the lateral pressure of water and to prevent the loss of backfill material. Close Sheeting refers to the placement of planks side-by-side allowing as little space as possible between them.
3. All spacing indicated is measured center to center.
4. Wales to be installed with greater dimension horizontal.
5. If the vertical distance from the center of the lowest crossbrace to the bottom of the trench exceeds two and one-half feet, uprights shall be firmly embedded or a mudsill shall be used. Where uprights are embedded, the vertical distance from the center of the lowest crossbrace to the bottom of the trench shall not exceed 36 inches. When mudsills are used, the vertical distance shall not exceed 42 inches. Mudsills are wales that are installed at the toe of the trench side.
6. Trench jacks may be used in lieu of or in combination with timber crossbraces.
7. Placement cf crossbraces. When the vertical spacing of crossbraces is four feet, place the top crossbrace no more than two feet below the top of the trench. When the vertical spacing of crossbraces is five feet, place the top crossbrace no more than 2.5 feet below the top of the trench.

Title 29 published on 2013-07-01

The following are only the Rules published in the Federal Register after the published date of Title 29.

For a complete list of all Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices view the Rulemaking tab.

  • 2014-09-26; vol. 79 # 187 - Friday, September 26, 2014
    1. 79 FR 57785 - Cranes and Derricks in Construction: Operator Certification
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, Occupational Safety and Health Administration
      Final rule.
      This final rule will become effective November 9, 2014.
      29 CFR Part 1926

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.


United States Code

Title 29 published on 2013-07-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 29 CFR 1926 after this date.

  • 2014-10-10; vol. 79 # 197 - Friday, October 10, 2014
    1. 79 FR 61384 - Chemical Management and Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs)
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, Occupational Safety and Health Administration
      Request for Information (RFI).
      Comments must be submitted by the following dates: Hard copy: must be submitted (postmarked or sent) by April 8, 2015. Electronic transmission or facsimile: must be submitted by April 8, 2015.
      29 CFR Parts 1910, 1915, 1917, 1918, and 1926