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A Guide to OSHA Excavations Standard

COURSE NO: G03-005
A Guide to OSHA Excavations Standard
Course Highlights

This online engineering PDH course demonstrates the basic elements of excavation safety. It examines the standard's different sections, offering many illustrations and a safety checklist to help explain how to excavate and work safely in a trench. It also discusses the rules and exceptions concerning residential construction.


According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, an average of about 50 fatalities occurs annually from excavation or trenching cave-ins. Of those, about 68 percent of deaths occurred in companies with less than 50 employees and about 46 percent in companies with less than 10 employees. Many excavation jobsite dangers can be prevented through preparation, identification and remediation of common risks presented. Modern technology has provided a variety of effective shoring systems and trench shields. The OSHA excavations standard provides a set of clearly written and logical safety rules.


This 3 PDH online course is applicable to engineers, planners, contractors and employees interested in gaining a better understanding of excavation safety elements.

Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge of the safety basic elements:

  • Soil Mechanics
  • Cave-ins and Protective Support Systems
  • Surface Encumbrances
  • Soil Characteristics
  • Determination of Soil Type
  • Earth Pressures
  • Effects of Water
  • Remedies to Dewater an Excavation
  • Sloping and Benching
  • Sheeting
  • Support Systems
  • Shield Systems
  • Other Protective Systems
  • Shoring Types
  • Hazards
  • Special Health and Safety Considerations
Course Document

In this professional engineering CEU course you will need to review the NCDOL Publication titled "A Guide to OSHA Excavations Standard" published by North Carolina Department of Labor, Occupational Health and Safety Division, revised in August 2009.

To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
A Guide to OSHA Excavations Standard (2.1 MB)
Course Quiz
Once you complete this course review you will need to take a multiple choice quiz of twenty (20) questions to earn 3 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on this NCDOL Publication.


The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: