Section 21-7. General precautions during excavation work

The employer shall ensure that the employees are not exposed to risk to life or health during excavation work.
Excavation pits shall have safe access.
For sides of excavations that are lower than 2 m, vertical sides without shoring can be used unless there are special elements of risk. For all other excavation puts that are not shored, the side shall be given a safe angle of slope.
In frozen soil, the excavation pit may be excavated with vertical sides if it is to be filled before there is a risk of thawing. If the excavation pit is deeper than the ground frost level, the walls below ground frost level shall be shored where there is a risk of a collapse causing personal injury.
Staying in the excavation pit during the removal of shoring is only permitted if this is necessary.
Special precautions shall be taken in connection with excavation work where the ground near the excavation put is exposed to additional loads, e.g. buildings or other structures, storage sites, etc.
There shall always be one or more escape routes in excavation pits deeper than 1 m. Escape routes shall satisfy the relevant requirements in Section 2-21 of the Workplace Regulations.