Secure the excavation properly - you must pay attention to this

For the protection of excavations, there are numerous regulations that you must observe. In our article we have summarized the most important things that you have to consider when securing the pit.

Dangers in a pit

The danger here is not just that people could fall into the pit. You also have to count on many other dangers:

  • if a ditch is not cleared, the ditch walls can collapse and spill someone
  • adjacent buildings can be severely damaged by slipping off the trench wall
  • it can lead to damage of ground lines
  • Heavy rain, long periods of drought or earth movements can cause collapses

All factors that can contribute to the instability of the trench walls must be carefully examined in advance and if necessary taken into account. Also pay attention to:

  • Groundwater depletion
  • stratum water
  • Shakes from nearby traffic

security measures


The most important safety measure is the quenching. It serves to reliably prevent a collapse of the pit walls. For demolition, certain minimum dimensions must be observed, which are specified in DIN 4124.

pit edges

Mine edges must always be free to a width of at least 60 cm. In technical language, this edge is called "protective strip". It must not be covered by excavated material or be delivered with obstacles or equipment.

access routes

If an excavation is more than 1.25 m deep, a suitable access (eg a staircase) must be created. These access routes must also meet certain specifications. Since this is about the safety of all people working in the pit, one should take this point very seriously.

Proof of stability

For embankments that are more than 5 m high, a stability analysis according to DIN 4124 is also required. This also applies if heavy vehicles with a weight of more than 12 t drive up to the excavation pit (closer than 1 meter). In addition, there are a few more cases where proof of stability is required. DIN 4124 specifies when this is the case. Such proof must be provided by a technically qualified person.

Tips & Tricks

Warning tapes are not permitted to protect an excavation pit or excavation! It is imperative that suitable fall protection devices (railings, chains, ropes) are installed, at a distance of at least 2 m from the edge of the fall.

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