Trench Sloping Made Easy With Mobile App

Trench Sloping Made Easy With Mobile App

Trench sloping at a safe angle prevents cave-ins and saves lives. Trench Right is the free mobile app designed to calculate safe slopes in all soil types.

Trench collapses needlessly kill workers every year. In this podcast, Dan Clark describes the new tool to avoid collapses. Simply input excavation dimensions, soil type and penetrometer readings into Trench Right. It quickly reveals the safe angle for trench sloping.

See the transcript for links to the iOS and Android versions of the free app.


intro music and effects

Dan Clark: Sloping is a basic principle used to protect workers in trenches. Taper the sides of the trench to prevent a cave-in. But just how much slope? A new mobile app called Trench Right can make it easier. More in a moment.

Hi, I’m Dan Clark with The Safety Brief. We take on health and safety hazards in today’s demanding industrial and construction worksites, a service of Creative Safety Supply. Save 10 percent off your entire order at with coupon code BIG10.

Cave-ins account for the most trench-related fatalities. Multiple methods of protection exist including benching, shoring and shielding. But today we’ll talk about sloping: A single slope from the top of the trench to the bottom.

The angle of the slope on the sides of the trench depends on the depth of the trench and the type of soil. The types of soil, according to OSHA: solid rock; Type A; Type B; and Type C. All have different stabilities.

Imagine a dump truck unloads a pile of dirt. Similar to a pyramid, the pile is at an angle. That angle on the side of the pile is the “angle of repose.” That’s the angle that this type of soil naturally supports itself.

A slope in a trench is safe when it’s constructed at the correct angle of repose.

Enter the mobile app, Trench Right. It’s the free application for iOS and Android platforms.

Trench Right has you input the four dimensions of the trench — the width and height of both sides. Next you input the soil types such as fractured rock, stiff clay, firm clay, sand. These are the Type A, Type B, Type C soils I mentioned earlier.

Finally, use your penetrometer and input the reading into Trench Right.

The app calculates the safe angle for sloping the trench. Remember, this angle isn’t always the same. It depends on the soil type and dimensions of the trench.

Now, if a mobile app isn’t right for you, OSHA allows various methods for determining the proper angle. Here’s an example: To be conservative, use an angle no greater than 1.5:1. That’s 1.5 horizontal to 1 vertical, or 34°. This ensures the trench is safe for any soil.

Now back to the Trench Right app. It’s sponsored by the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association and developed by Ingenious Robot, Inc. The links to the iOS and Android free downloads are in the transcript of this podcast.

If sloping isn’t right for your trenching job and you need to hear about benching, shoring and shielding, see the link to that podcast also in the transcript of this podcast.

That’s all for this episode, Trench Sloping Made Easy With Mobile App. Join me again for more ways to stay safety compliant in today’s always-changing landscape of safety requirements. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, a service of Creative Safety Supply. Save 10 percent off your entire order at with coupon code BIG10.


sounds provided by and

Similar Posts: