While the shoring inside your trenches will make the trenches safe during the time you need to work in them, there are other pieces of equipment that you might want to add to your shoring system. For example, you may find it useful to add a ladder platform to the outside of your trenches.
How does this platform work and why should you use one?
What Is a Trench Ladder Platform?
Ladder platforms often come with other types of trench edge protection equipment, such as handrails. These platforms sit at the top of a trench. They are attached to the side of the trench box or sheet and, in some cases, to handrails if they are used with them.
The platform is typically like a small open cage with an entry gate. Generally, there will be a larger pole at one side of the platform. This is there to secure the ladder that your crew will use to get in and out of the trench.
What Are the Benefits of Ladder Platforms?
Ladder platforms make it easier for your crew to use trenches. They give a fixed point of entry and exit during each part of a job. However, the platform is also flexible.
For example, you may start off putting the platform at one end of a trench. As work progresses, it may make more sense to move it to the other end or to a new trench. This is an easy job. You simply uncouple the platform and set it up again where you need it.
You'll also find that the platform has safety benefits. For example, the platform itself makes the approach to the ladder more stable and secure. If someone wants to go down the ladder, they have a firm surface to walk on. They don't need to negotiate walking on wet or slippery mud. So, you may prevent falls into the trench if someone slips as they try to get on to a ladder.
Plus, the fact that you can secure a ladder to the platform makes using the ladder itself safer. The ladder is held firmly in place by the platform rather than resting unsecured on the edge. It won't move or slip as someone is going up or coming down.
Finally, you may also find that the platform's gating system improves security around the trench. While it's not impossible to get to the ladder if the gate is closed and locked, it is a lot harder.
To find out more about ladder platforms, talk to your trench shoring equipment supplier.