Total Safety Blog

Preventing Trenching Accidents

A recent increase in trenching fatalities has caused OSHA to issue a revised National Emphasis Program (NEP) for trenching and excavation. Effective October 1st, 2018, this program was designed to increase enforcement, compliance and outreach for trenching. There have been 130 deaths from cave-ins between 2001 and 2016. OSHA’s new program is targeted at decreasing the number of trenching and excavating fatalities. 

OSHA Outreach Programs

During the first 90 days of the revised NEP, OSHA area offices will conduct outreach and training programs to provide compliance-assistance information to construction companies, trade associations, non-federal permitting agencies and others. After the 3 months of outreach and education, OSHA will begin enforcement. OSHA’s website has resources and information on preventing trenching fatalities.

NEP Enforcement

As part of the increase in enforcement, OSHA will conduct inspections of trenching and excavating activities when they are seen, even if no violation is observed. The new program also requires that trenching and excavation inspections are recorded in a national reporting system. 

OSHA’s goal with the increased enforcement is to improve the safety of employees doing trenching or excavation. “Removing workers from and helping workers identify trenching hazards is critical,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. “OSHA will concentrate the full force of enforcement and compliance assistance resources to help ensure that employers are addressing these serious hazards.”

Stay in compliance with help from TSC

With the increase in enforcement for trenching activities, compliance is important. Now is a great time to review your policies and procedures for trenching and excavation. If you need assistance with compliance or training programs, Total Safety Consulting can help you. We offer a variety of services, including training from the TSC Training Academy. The services we offer include:

  • Confined Space Training
  • Confined Space Preparation and Retrieval Equipment (harness/lanyard/tripod/retractable lanyards/ladders/4 way gas detector/lighting).
  • Site Audits and Assessments
  • Air Monitoring and Testing and 4-Way Gas Detection Monitoring
  • Medical Evaluation and Respiratory Training and Equipment needs
  • Confined Space Attendant

At Total Safety Consulting, we will work with you to comply with OSHA regulations. Our team of professionals will help you create a safer workplace. If you are interested in learning more about the services we provide, contact us today.

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