Consider that you are the competent person for your company, and you are installing some underground storm drainage lines. You have an 8-foot-deep excavation that is 6 feet wide and 60 feet long in class C soil. The area you are working in is very limited, and it is hard to get your equipment, such as backhoes, forklifts, and dump trucks into such a tight space.
It has been raining for the last week, and your foreman comes to you and tells you they can bench the excavation (meaning to form horizontal steps instead of sloping) because the soil is sticking together. There is also some water accumulation in the bottom of the excavation. Ladder access/egress is the proposed means of getting into and out of the excavation. Other trades are working nearby forming columns and must walk by the excavation often.
What is your response to the foreman, and why? What are the requirements for working in this type of situation? Remember to use the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards to back up your response.