OSHA Announces Updated National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation

OSHA has announced that it has updated the National Emphasis Program (NEP) on preventing trenching and excavation collapses in response to a recent spike in trenching fatalities.  The updated NEP is designed to increase education and enforcement efforts.

The program began on October 1, 2018, with a three-month period of education and prevention outreach.  During this period, OSHA will continue to respond to complaints, referrals, hospitalizations and fatalities.  OSHA-approved State Plans are expected to have enforcement procedures that are at least as effective as those in this NEP.

OSHA has a number of compliance assistance materials to help, including:

  • Audio public service announcements recorded by U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta in English and Spanish that highlight effective ways to stay safe when working around trenches and excavations.
  • A 45-second video, “5 Things You Should Know to Stay Safe,” which also highlights well-known and proven safety measures that can eliminate hazards and prevent worker injuries.
  • An updated trenching operations QuickCard, which provides information on protecting workers around trenches, including daily inspections, and trench wall safety.
  • An updated Trenching and Excavation webpage, which provides additional information on trenching hazards and solutions.

Visit OSHA’s Trenching and Excavation webpage for more information and resources.

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