Safety Bulletin NRB22-07 Trench Collapse

Safety Bulletin - Trench Collapse

Issued to: All network rail line managers, safety professionals and accredited contractors

Ref: NRB22-07

Date of issue: 22/08/2022

Location: Eastbourne, Sussex route, Southern Region

Contact: Rosemarie de Val, Health and safety manager, southern capital delivery


On 12 August 2022 trench excavation works were

being undertaken within the highway to a depth of
1.60m. The excavation required a temporary works
design and a proprietary system was being used for
areas where operatives needed to access the trench.
The temporary works were to be used at locations
where operatives needed to enter the trench to join
the new ducting being installed. Two teams of five
members of staff were employed to undertake the
task of excavation, shoring, placing of ducting and
backfilling of trench.
Trench support was installed by a minimum of two
people from the top of the trench and then a ladder
placed within for access. Areas between the shoring
was left open and no people were required to enter
this space.

Two people were left in the working area to install
trench support. They entered the trench within the
shoring that had been installed.
Rather than come out of the trench to install the
next set of temporary trench shoring, one person
walked along the unsupported trench to the required

location to install the trench support in an un-
planned manner from within the trench. Clay from

the side of the trench came loose and struck the
operative on the right hip causing bruising.

B229 NRB22-12

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