Installation Guide

Installation Walkthough


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Composite trench lining system: EZE Shoring is the World's first non-metallic trench lining system.

Manufactured by Exel Composites UK, this high performance composite system com-prises of only 5 different components. The lightweight, easy to assemble system uses composite struts (where necessary) to make it 100% NON CONDUCTIVE.

This makes it the SAFEST, EASIEST and LIGHTEST trench lining product available for the installation of underground utilities, - GAS, WATER, and ELECTRICITY. (Steel struts can also be utilised in the system as an alternative option if conductivity is not a critical factor)

Standards Met:

BS EN 13706—Reinforced Plastic Composites: Specifications for Pultruded Composites

ISO 14125:1998 : Fibre-reinforced plastic composites -- Determination of flexural properties.

ISO 14130:1997Fibre-reinforced plastic composites -- Determination of apparent interlaminar shear strength by short-beam method.

BS EN 13331:2002—Trench Lining Systems

BS4074:2000 - Specification for steel trench struts

BS EN 5975: Code of Practice for temporary works procedures and permissible stress design

BS EN 16269 – Statistical interpretation of data: Part 6: Determination of statistical tolerance intervals.

Helping Hand

  1. EZE Shoring systems MUST be installed and removed by, trained, knowledgeable, experienced competent persons.
  2. EZE Shoring is the alternative to the use of timber to shore trenches, the installation is generally carried out into a pre-dug trench either by hand or excavator, the sequence of Hub Shore installation can be lowered into the trench fully assembled, quickly followed with the installation of the remaining profiles for a fully closed shored trench if required.
  3. EZE Shoring has a multitude of benefits, not requiring hydraulics reduces the installation time considerably. EZE shoring is compatible with the 150mm fitted base plate of the existing Acrow prop which allows for quick installation and quick alterations to the trench widths.
  4. EZE Shoring is a High Performance Composite, weight to strength ratio is very impressive. EZE Shoring components will not withstand the pushing/clouting from a mechanical machine. (Excavator) or similar.
  5. EZE Shoring should be inspection prior to installation, each profile should be inspected visually for signs of excessive damage, and any component that has been visually damaged should be exchanged and not used to shore the trench.
  6. EZE Shoring’s unique design always maintains a horizontal configuration of the strut when the EZE struts or Acrow struts are installed, this always ensures that the struts are working to their optimum performance remaining horizontal within the EZE shoring system and within the trench.
  7. EZE Shoring has the added benefit of being able to extend above the trench depth and act as edge protection, as this is often exercised with traditional metal sheet piles and timber uprights. Alternatively edge protection must be in place if the desired edge protection height cannot be achieved with EZE shoring piles. Safe access/egress should always be in place, secured and checked for the safety of all.
  8. The removal sequence of the EZE Shoring system is to slowly release the pressure of the trench struts and raise from trench in the reverse sequence to the installation, this must be performed by a competent person.
  9. Extra care and vigilance is required with both the installation and removal of EZE Shoring, ground movement may occur in the surrounding areas of the excavated trench. If ground movement is visible, seek immediate advice from a competent person.
  10. Standard PPE: is advised when handling EZE shoring, gloves, eye protection, High Vis clothing, and safety boots.
  11. If possible, avoid extreme hot works in close proximity to EZE Shoring, alternatively shield EZE shoring with a non-flammable material to avoid damage.
  12. EZE Shoring stacks with precision and ease, due to the lightweight of the EZE profiles ensure sufficient fastening/strapping when transporting or left in high winds.
  13. The installation begins with the Hub Shore components, the finished shored trench is dependent on ground conditions. The operative installing EZE Shoring must be familiar with the installation and removal process. The installation process always maintains the operative installing is working within the safety zone.
  14. EZE Shoring is based on trained, competent and experienced persons supervising the excavation installation and removal of the trench support systems. The competent person must be capable of confirming any/all soil conditions and the surrounding environment is suitable for the chosen design. Ensure the correct width of struts have been chosen prior to the EZE Shoring system being deployed.
  15. Never enter any unsupported trench until the pre-loaded Hub Shore piles have been deployed, this process will allow for safe continuity of the EZE Shoring system range.
  16. EZE Shoring’s composite strut is the modern version of the Standard Acrow strut/prop, modern material has allowed for development which matches the existing metal struts for safe working loads, the composite struts are simply manually extended within the shoring system to secure the shoring system firmly against the trench walls, and the overall stability of the shoring system is reliant on the Struts.
  17. EZE Shoring is designed for the use of the traditional Standard Metal Acrow strut/prop fitted with the 150mm base plate, the struts are simply manually extended within the shoring system to secure the shoring system firmly against the trench walls, and the overall stability of the shoring system is reliant on the Struts.
  18. Selecting the EZE Shoring range should always be followed after a risk assessment for the proposed tasks has been completed, the choice of shoring solutions is fully dependant on a number of underlined issues that may occur at the chosen site, soil conditions, structures, services that are present etc. A trained, competent and experienced person should carry out the relevant risk assessment.
  19. EZE Shoring’s Range accommodates the Utility sector and grounds works alike for immediate deployment to reactive work. Working in close proximity to existing services, structures, should always been taken into consideration for the choice of all shoring products available.
  20. Ensure any persons who are excavating, inspecting, installing and removing EZE Shoring equipment are fully trained, experienced, and have good knowledge of their tasks.


Inspections shall be made by a competent person and should be documented. The following guide specifies the frequency and conditions requiring inspections:

Ingress and Egress

Access to and exit from the trench require the following conditions:

 Competent Person

The designated competent person should have and be able to demonstrate the following:

Training, experience, and knowledge of:

  • Daily and before the start of each shift;
  • As dictated by the work being done in the trench;
  • After every rainstorm;
  • After other events that could increase hazards, e.g. persistent rain, high winds, thaw, contact to shoring equipment by machinery etc.
  • When fissures, tension cracks, sloughing, undercutting, water seepage, bulging at the bottom, or other similar conditions occur;
  • When there is a change in the size, location, or placement of the spoil pile; and
  • When there is any indication of change or movement in adjacent structures.
  • Trenches 1.2m or more in depth should be provided with a fixed means of egress.
  • Spacing between ladders or other means of egress must be such that a worker will not have to travel more than 25 ft. laterally to the nearest means of egress.
  • Ladders must be secured and extend a minimum of 36in (0.9 m) above the landing.
  • soil analysis;
  • use of protective systems

Ability to detect:

  • conditions that could result in cave-ins;
  • failures in protective systems;
  • hazardous atmospheres; and
  • Other hazards including those associated with confined spaces.
  • Authority to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate existing and predictable hazards and to stop work when required.


An Excavation is any man-made cut, cavity, trench, or depression in an earth surface that is formed by earth removal. A Trench is a narrow excavation (in relation to its length) made below the surface of the ground. In general, the depth of a trench is greater than its width, and the width (measured at the bottom) is not greater than 15 ft (4.6 m). If a form or other structure installed or constructed in an excavation reduces the distance between the form and the side of the excavation to 15 ft (4.6 m) or less (measured at the bottom of the excavation), the excavation is also considered to be a trench.

Installation Guide Stills_00020
  • Hazardous Atmosphere - Is an atmosphere that by reason of being explosive, flammable, poisonous, corrosive, oxidizing, irritating, oxygen-deficient, toxic, or otherwise harmful may cause death, illness, or injury to persons exposed to it.
  • Ingress and Egress - mean "entry" and "exit," respectively. In trenching and excavation operations, they refer to the provision of safe means for employees to enter or exit an excavation or trench.
  • Protective System - refers to a method of protecting employees from cave-ins, from material that could fall or roll from an excavation face or into an excavation, and from the collapse of adjacent structures. Protective systems include support systems, sloping and benching systems, shield systems, and other systems that provide the necessary protection.
  • Support System -  refers to structures such as underpinning, bracing, and shoring that provide support to an adjacent structure or underground installation or to the sides of an excavation or trench.
  • Subsurface Encumbrances - include underground utilities, foundations, streams, water tables, transformer vaults, and geological anomalies.
  • Surcharge - means an excessive vertical load or weight caused by spoil, overburden, vehicles, equipment, or activities that may affect trench stability.
  • Tabulated Data - are tables and charts approved by a registered professional engineer and used to design and construct a protective system.
  • Underground Installations - include, but are not limited to, utilities (sewer, telephone, fuel, electric, water, and other product lines), tunnels, shafts, vaults, foundations, and other underground fixtures or equipment that may be encountered during excavation or trenching work.
  • Unconfined Compressive Strength - is the load per unit area at which soil will fail in compression. This measure can be determined by laboratory testing, or it can be estimated in the field using a pocket penetrometer, by thumb penetration tests, or by other methods.

Determination of Soil Type

Type A Soils are cohesive soils with an unconfined compressive strength of 1.5 tons per square foot (tsf) (144 kPa) or greater. Examples of Type A cohesive soils are often: clay, silty clay, sandy clay, clay loam and, in some cases, silty clay loam and sandy clay loam. (No soil is Type A if it is fissured, is subject to vibration of any type, has previously been disturbed, is part of a sloped, layered system where the layers dip into the excavation on a slope of 4 horizontal to 1 vertical (4H:1V) or greater, or has seeping water.

Type C Soils are cohesive soils with an unconfined compressive strength of 0.5 tsf (48 kPa) or less. Other Type C soils include granular soils such as gravel, sand and loamy sand, submerged soil, soil from which water is freely seeping, and submerged rock that is not stable. Also included in this classification is material in a sloped, layered system where the layers dip into the excavation or have a slope of four horizontal to one vertical (4H:1V) or greater.

Type B Soils are cohesive soils with an unconfined compressive strength greater than 0.5 tsf (48 kPa) but less than 1.5 tsf (144 kPa). Examples of other Type B soils are: angular gravel; silt; silt loam; previously disturbed soils unless otherwise classified as Type C; soils that meet the unconfined compressive strength or cementation requirements of Type A soils but are fissured or subject to vibration; dry unstable rock; and layered systems sloping into the trench at a slope less than 4H:1V (only if the material would be classified as a Type B soil).

Stable Rock is natural solid mineral matter that can be excavated with vertical sides and remain intact while exposed. It is usually identified by a rock name such as granite or sandstone. Determining whether a deposit is of this type may be difficult unless it is known whether cracks exist and whether or not the cracks run into or away from the excavation.



A trench strut with clawed base plate is not compatible

Trench Compatibility

Plasticity or Wet Threat Test

This test is conducted by moulding a moist sample of the soil into a ball and attempting to roll it into a thin thread approximately 1/8 inch (3 mm) in diameter (thick) by 2 inches (50 mm) in length. The soil sample is held by one end. If the sample does not break or tear, the soil is considered cohesive.

During a visual test, the evaluator should check for crack-line openings along the failure zone that would indicate tension cracks, look for existing utilities that indicate that the soil has previously been disturbed, and observe the open side of the excavation for indications of layered geologic structuring.

The evaluator should also look for signs of bulging, boiling, or sluffing, as well as for signs of surface water seeping from the sides of the excavation or from the water table. In addition, the area adjacent to the excavation should be checked for signs of foundations or other intrusions into the failure zone, and the evaluator should check for surcharging and the spoil distance from the edge of the excavation.

Tension Cracks - A visual test is a qualitative evaluation of conditions around the site. In a visual test, the entire excavation site is observed, including the soil adjacent to the site and the soil being excavated. If the soil remains in clumps, it is cohesive; if it appears to be coarse-grained sand or gravel, it is considered granular. The evaluator also checks for any signs of vibration.

Shoring Types - Shoring is the provision of a support system for trench faces used to prevent movement of soil, underground utilities, carriageways, and foundations. Shoring or shielding is used when the location or depth of the cut makes sloping back to the maximum allowable slope impractical.

Soil Mechanics - A number of stresses and deformations can occur in an open cut or trench. For example, increases or decreases in moisture content can adversely affect the stability of a trench or excavation. The following diagrams show some of the more frequently identified causes of trench failure.


Tension Cracks - Tension cracks usually form at a horizontal distance of 0.5 to 0.75 times the depth of the trench, measured from the top of the vertical face of the trench. See the accompanying drawing for additional details.


Sliding or sluffing may occur as a result of tension cracks, as illustrated above.


Toppling. In addition to sliding, tension cracks can cause toppling. Toppling occurs when the trench's vertical face shears along the tension crack line and topples into the excavation.


Subsidence and Bulging. An unsupported excavation can create an unbalanced stress in the soil, which, in turn, causes subsidence at the surface and bulging of the vertical face of the trench. If uncorrected, this condition can cause face failure and entrapment of workers in the trench.


Heaving or Squeezing. Bottom heaving or squeezing is caused by the downward pressure created by the weight of adjoining soil. This pressure causes a bulge in the bottom of the cut, as illustrated in the drawing above. Heaving and squeezing can occur even when shoring or shielding has been properly installed.


Boiling is evidenced by an upward water flow into the bottom of the cut. A high water table is one of the causes of boiling. Boiling produces a "quick" condition in the bottom of the cut, and can occur even when shoring or trench boxes are used.

Unit Weight of Soils refers to the weight of one unit of a particular soil. The weight of soil varies with type and moisture content. One cubic ft of soil can weigh from 110 pounds to 140 pounds or more, and one cubic meter (35.3 cubic feet) of soil can weigh more than 3,000 pounds or 1.360t.