Trench collapses, or cave-ins, pose a great risk to workers’ lives. When done safely, trenching operations can reduce worker exposure to collapses and other potential hazards including falls, falling loads, hazardous atmospheres, and incidents involving mobile equipment. This year’s Trench Safety Stand Down is June 17-21 and all companies that want to prevent trenching and excavation hazards in the workplace are encouraged to participate.
OSHA standards require that employers provide workplaces free of recognized hazards. The employer must comply with the trenching and excavation requirements of 29 CFR 1926.651 and 1926.652. The primary hazard of trenching and excavation is employee injury from collapse, but other hazards exist. OSHA’s program to “Slope it. Shore it. Shield it.” is very effective at protecting workers when implemented. Trench safety is an OSHA National Emphasis Program (CPL 02-00-161, 10/01/18) and a top priority for the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) who is sponsoring the Trench Safety Stand Down once again this year. Last year over 350 employers participated in this NUCA sponsored program to raise awareness and train employees on the specific hazards related to trenching and excavations.
The Nevada Safety Consultation and Training Section (SCATS) provides no-cost awareness level training on trenching and excavation safety in our Excavation Regulatory Review course. Visit our Training page to find the next class closest to you.
There are also many other resources available online for use during the Stand Down and every day. Some of the these include:
NUCA – https://www.nuca.com/tssd
OSHA – https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/solutions.html and https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/additionalinformation.html
One of the many OSHA publications that can be obtained free of charge from OSHA.gov is the OSHA pamphlet “Trenching and Excavation Safety”, publication number OSHA 2226-10R 2015. This can be found on the OSHA website via this link.
The Safety Consultation and Training Section (SCATS), part of Nevada’s Division of Industrial Relations, provides free and confidential consultation and safety services to assist businesses in Nevada to be in compliance with OSHA standards. SCATS’ top priority is to help Nevada businesses keep their employees safe and offers on-site consultation services designed to help employers recognize and control potential safety and health hazards at their workplaces, improve their safety and health programs, and assist in training employees. SCATS also offers Workplace Safety and Health Training classes in Northern and Southern Nevada. Bilingual services are also available.
Please contact us online here or by phone at 877-472-3368 to learn more about how SCATS can help your business with your workplace safety and health practices for free.