The handbook has been designed to provide the emergency responders with a simple to use reference guide, to assist in coping with an emergency response situation where an excavation is involved.
Its intent is to familiarize EMS responders with safety precautions that construction employers must take according to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and regulations, such that the emergency responders can have confidence in the stability of the excavations that they may need to access.
Provincial OHSA regulations provide for three means by which an employer can maintain a safe excavation:
1) appropriate sloping;
2) installation of shoring systems; and
3) installation of a protective shield or barrier system.