IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Soil Classification and Selection of Shoring Systems for Trench Excavation


Digging trenches exposes workers to many risks, and cave-ins are both the most serious and the most frequent of them. An analysis of 51 CNESST reports on serious and fatal accidents that occurred between 1974 and 2013 during excavation and trench-digging work revealed that there were 48 fatalities and 17 serious accidents during that period. The primary causes were an absence of shoring and safe work methods.

This study aims to classify soils in urban areas in Québec, to develop a simple method to determine the type of soil on a site in situ, in order to safely carry out the work of excavation or shoring. Moreover, the researchers intend to validate the resistance and behaviour of shoring systems for different types of soil and loading conditions. They also want to develop a decision support system to facilitate the choice of a shoring system that integrates geological, geotechnical and structural factors.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 0099-5290
Status: Completed
Year of completion: 2021
  • André Lan (IRSST)
  • Denis LeBoeuf (Université Laval)
  • Omar Chaallal (École de technologie supérieure)
  • Bertrand Galy (IRSST)