Trenching Stand Down Under Way

OSHA has partnered with the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) and the North American Excavation and Shoring Association (NAXSA) to promote a Trench Safety Stand Down during June 18-23.

OSHA has partnered with the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) and the North American Excavation and Shoring Association (NAXSA) to promote a Trench Safety Stand Down during June 18-23. The week is dedicated to trench safety.

An online post on June 19 from OSHA's acting leader, Loren Sweatt, deputy assistant secretary for Occupational Safety and Health, announced it. "Few people think about where their electricity or water comes from when they switch on a light or wash their dishes. However, Americans are on the job in trenches every day installing and repairing utility lines to ensure those conveniences are always available. It is critical for these workers to know how to stay safe while they perform their job," it said.

The three partners are encouraging companies that use trenches to conduct Trench Safety Stand Down activities during the week. Those could include a discussion or demonstration at a work site to illustrate the proper technique to safely dig and use a trench.

The post listed five key trench safety tips to protect workers:

  • Ensure there's a safe way to enter and exit.
  • Trenches must have cave-in protection.
  • Keep materials away from the edge of the trench.
  • Look for standing water and atmospheric hazards.
  • Never enter a trench unless it has been properly inspected.

It also said, "To report an unsafe trench, call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742)."

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