Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at

October 2, 1984

Mr. Larry Etchechury
Division of Occupational Safety and Health
State of Arizona
Post Office Box 19070
Phoenix, Arizona 85005

Dear Mr. Etchechury:

Gordon Jones called on September 27, 1984, about an interpretation of 1926.652, Table P-2. In the table, the depth of the trench controls the condition to be adhered to. If the trench is 20 feet deep, the 5 to 10 feet and the 10 to 15 feet requirements are negated, therefore, closed sheeting is required.

The only time the criteria would change is if the trench was sloped or benched. If the first 5 feet was sloped in a 20 foot trench, then the trench would be considered 15 feet deep and the 10-15 requirements would prevail.



Regional Safety Engineer