As a contractor, the only way to protect workers handling trenches and other underground confined spaces from cave-ins is by investing in aluminium shoring. The pieces of equipment are well designed to prevent underground channels from crumbling under pressure. While it is advisable to buy aluminium trench shoring shields, contractors have the option to rent. However, you need to be careful when renting used aluminium trench shoring shields because the structural integrity of each piece must be verified. This article highlights the critical areas you need to inspect before signing on a rental agreement.
The first things you want to inspect when renting an aluminium shoring shield are every spreader receiver on the equipment. This is because the spreader receivers keep the walls of the shoring protection intact and prevent the walls from caving in. If you notice stress marks coming from the edges of the holes during your inspection, then it is a sign that the critical part is compromised. If you ignore the stress marks, then any loads placed on the equipment might cause rapid failure, thereby exposing workers to danger. Therefore, ensure that the aluminium shoring shield has perfectly round spreader receivers. It ensures that the rounded ends of the spreaders fit snug and provide maximum trench shielding.
The four sides of an aluminium trench shoring shield are referred to as walls. The parts directly prevent soil from caving, and this makes the walls one of the most critical parts of an aluminium shoring shield. Therefore, take time around the wall sections when inspecting an aluminium trench shoring shield. Pay particular attention to the middle third of the wall since it affects structural integrity the most. Ensure there are no punctures, dents, or waffling since these are signs that the walls are losing the structural integrity. It is vital to note that some level of wall deterioration is acceptable on aluminium shoring. However, such a trench shield can only be used in shallow trenches and upon further evaluation by a competent person.
If you know what a cantilever beam on a diving board looks like, then that is what the end beam of an aluminium trench shoring equipment looks like. The end beam is supposed to keep the bottom of the walls structurally stable to prevent soil from going through the bottom. After using aluminium shoring for extended periods, the end beam starts to bend and deflect away from the wall. The inward bending creates space below the equipment and allows soil inside the worker's workspace. Therefore, ensure that you inspect end beams for signs of deflection, and if you find any, don't rent the aluminium shoring.