Excavation Competent Person: Basic Skills Training

This class can be taught either at your location or we also offer this program as an open-enrollment class.Register Now!

Introduction to the Basic Skills of an Excavation Competent Person

Many construction companies and public works departments require less training than our Mastery-level two-day classes provide because their digging projects only involve one or two types of protective systems and they are rarely digging deep excavations.

To meet the learning needs of these students D2000 has developed a basic eight-hour class that covers all the key excavation safety topics these competent persons need to know. According to OSHA definitions, competent persons can survey a dig site and identify hazards. They also have the authority to eliminate worker exposure to the hazard, which means they can stop the job until the hazard is eliminated or controlled.

At the completion of this training, the students should have the skills needed to follow their location’s excavation safety policies and comply with OSHA regulations.

To fulfill this role, competent persons must understand:

  • OSHA requirements pertaining to excavations.

    Excavation Competent Person Trench Class - soil samples 2

    Excavation Competent Person Training - Examining Soil Samples

  • Basic excavation terminology.
  • Cave-in causes and indicators.
  • Soil mechanics (cohesion and friction)
  • Types of soils (solid rock, A, B, C)
  • Selection and installation of protective systems
  • De-watering strategies and systems
  • Managing hazardous atmospheres
  • Safety policies
  • Inspections

This course is designed to meet a variety of safety requirements including those promulgated by OSHA, the Department of Energy, and the US Army Corps of Engineers.

There are no formal prerequisites but most students will have an understanding of basic construction safety principles.


At the end of this class the students should be able to:
  1. Identify excavation hazards.
  2. Summarize the content and scope of the OSHA excavation standards.
  3. Calculate the approximate lateral earth pressure.
  4. Identify signs of soil failure in or around the dig site.
  5. Protect employees from falling rocks and soil.
  6. Select and install protective systems in accordance with the manufacturer’s requirements.
  7. Construct benches and slopes in accordance with tabulated data.
  8. Control or eliminate water and atmospheric hazards.
  9. Ensure that workers have adequate means of access and egress.
  10. Properly plan for emergencies.
Jim Johnson July 15, 2014
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