Construction is generally acknowledged as a high hazard industry. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that 849 construction workers were killed on the job in 2012 — the highest number of fatalities in any industry.
An estimated 2.3 million construction workers, or 65% of the construction industry, work on scaffolds frequently. In a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics study, 72 percent of workers injured in scaffold accidents attributed their injuries to planking or support giving way, slipping or being struck by a falling object.
OSHA standards require that trenching and excavation sites are inspected daily and as conditions change by a competent person before worker entry in order to ensure elimination of excavation hazards.
Trenching and excavation are widely recognized as among the most hazardous construction operations, resulting in an average of two deaths per month and hundreds of injuries each year due to trench collapses. OSHA has developed specific safety standards for the construction industry, making the requirements easier to understand.