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Excavation & Trench Training & Certification

Hard Hat Training courses meet all training requirements set by OSHA and Canada.


We Offer Three Types of Trench Safety Trainings

Our regulation-aligned Trench Safety certification courses are updated to reflect the most recent changes made to safety standards. Whether you want a certification in as little as two hours, or a more robust training, we can help! We offer online trainings that can be completed in a day, DIY training kits that provide training materials, Train the Trainer certifications that certify individuals to train others and provide training materials, or onsite training. No matter what you choose, we can get you what you want, at a price you can afford.

online construction safety training

Online Training

Online training is for those who prefer self-paced training from any location and/or for employers who need to assign and monitor employee training progress and exam scores.

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Training Kits

The training kit is for those who want the freedom of doing the training themselves. It is an PowerPoint Presentation (PPT) that you can present yourself to a group of trainees.

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Train the Trainer

Train the Trainer courses are online and meant to certify a individual to use the training kit to train others. Training kit and materials are included with the Train the Trainer online course for no additional cost.

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What’s in the Trench Safety Training Course?

Our Trench Safety training course is regulation aligned, and our online version fulfills OSHA’s classroom training requirement. Each class contains sections on competency, soil classification, protective systems, atmosphere, common hazards and more.

This presentation includes intermittent practice quiz questions to prepare for the final written exam included with the course. In addition to the written exam, this course also includes a checklist for employers to use when administering a practical exam, as required.

While this training encompasses many important safety standards, you will still need to familiarize yourself with any other federal, state, and local standards that apply to your specific workplace.


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For most courses, we offer OSHA trainings in English and Spanish, CAL/OSHA trainings in English, and Canada trainings in English. See all of our options!

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Trench Safety Certification Standards

U.S. Standards

  • 29 CFR 1926 Subpart P
  • 29 CFR 1926 Subpart P
  • 29 CFR 1926.651- Specific Excavation Requirements
  • 29 CFR 1926.652- Requirements for protective systems
  • 29 CFR 1926 Subpart P App A- Soil Classification
  • 29 CFR 1926 Subpart P App B- Sloping and Benching
  • 29 CFR 1926 Subpart P App C- Timber Shoring for Trenches
  • 29 CFR 1926 Subpart P App D- Aluminum Hydraulic Shoring for Trenches
  • 29 CFR 1926 Subpart P App E- Alternatives to Timber Shoring
  • 29 CFR 1926 Subpart P App F- Selection of Protective Systems
  • 29 CFR 1926.20, General Safety and Health Provisions, training
  • 29 CFR 1926.21, Training and Education
  • CAL/OSHA Requirements

  • 1539. – Permits
  • 1541. – General Requirements
  • 1541.1 – Protective Systems
  • 1541.1 Appendix A – Soil Types
  • 1541.1 Appendix B – Sloping and Trenching
  • 1541.1 Appendix C – Timber Shoring
  • 1541.1 Appendix D – Aluminum Hydraulic Shoring
  • Canada Standards

  • SOR 213/91 – Construction Projects
  • SOR 86-304, s. 1.2 – Qualified Person

    Train the Trainer Certification

    The Train the Trainer option is used to certify a trainer to teach others using the included training kit. It incorporates the online course with an additional train the trainer module, as well as the training kit. This option results in an regulation-aligned lifetime trainer certification from Hard Hat Training. This certification is not company-specific, meaning you can take it with you should you change employers.

    Why Do I Need Trench Safety Training?

    In line with regulations, anyone who works in and around trenches must receive training prior to working on their own. While requirements for refresher training related to forklifts or other processes are very specific. Most other equipment doesn’t have such specific requirements, but it’s wise to follow the same guidelines.

    When it comes to refresher training, the standards in some instances (like forklifts) are very specific: operators must be re-evaluated every three years to see if they are still competent to operate the equipment. Best practices say to apply this same rule to all types of equipment. A so-called “free-pass” cannot be awarded based on experience, age, or time on the job. The extent of the evaluation is to be determined by the employer, but should include a written and practical examination that prove continued competency.

    Stay Informed On All Things Trench Safety

    Did You Know?

    A cubic yard of soil (27 cubic feet, or 1 cubic meter) weighs more than the average compact car.

    From 2011 – 2016, there were over 130 fatalities related to trenching and excavation.

    49% of the 130 fatalities occurred in 2015-2016.


    Trench Training Frequently Asked Questions

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    About our Trench Training

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    Trenches are extremely common on work-sites around the world & excavation is a key part of most construction related jobs. According to OSHA, excavation work has a 112% higher fatality rate than the rest of the general construction industry. That’s why we offer complete trench safety training programs to help you meet OSHA’s requirements for trench training. Whether you need to train your trenching workers on-site, online or in a classroom; we have several options that meet your needs. Hundreds of companies and individuals around the world trust our professional training programs.

    What is covered in our trench training and certification program?

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    • Soil Classification & Types
    • Shoring Systems – Hydraulic, Timber, Etc.
    • Trench Collapse Types
    • General Trench Requirements
    • OSHA Regulations (29 CFR § 1926 Sub-part P)
    • Hazardous Scenarios
    • Much More!

    Did You Know This About Trench Safety?

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    The number one cause of injury in trenches is due to collapse; which occurs when employees are not properly trained to work safely in different types of soils, weather conditions or from not using proper shoring techniques. Couple these issues with heavy construction machinery and there can be a recipe for disaster. Our online programs, training kits provide you with the expertise needed to become OSHA Aligned (see 29 CFR 1926.65) and to avoid costly mistakes.

    What are OSHA requirements for trenches?

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    OSHA has specific instructions found in 29 CFR 1926.650 – 29 CFR 1926.652. These standards state that keeping employees safely is the primary concern. The three main areas of regulation to ensure safety are design of the excavation, protection systems, and inspection.

    What is trench safety?

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    Because excavations are prone to caving in and other potentially fatal accidents, OSHA has stringent requirements to keep employees safe in and around trenches and holes. These regulations and other advice comprise a body of best practices we call “trench safety.”

    What are OSHA’s three principles for trench safety?

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    When designing or creating a trench for human entry, one of three methods must be used to prevent cave-ins: the walls should be sloped or benched, shored with support, or shielded with trench boxes.

    How can we be safe around trenches?

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    In addition to designing the trench for safety, all employees provide a safe way to enter and exit a trench, the edges of the trench are kept clear of hazards, and the trench is inspected before employees enter the trench. Employees should also always beware of standing water or threatening weather.


    See Purchase Options

    For most courses, we offer OSHA trainings in English and Spanish, CAL/OSHA trainings in English, and Canada trainings in English. See all of our options!

    View Purchase Options