Excavation work is one of the most hazardous construction operations to perform. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that trenching and excavation hazards in construction activities cause 50 fatalities per year, on average.
The hazards associated with trench work are typically both recognizable and preventable, so education and awareness are critical to understanding safe excavation practices.
What’s more, excavation and trenching are consistently at the top of OSHA willful violation list. With this in mind, OSHA has just released a new public service video providing a quick, minute-long overview of “5 Things You Should Know to Stay Safe” when working with trenches.
OSHA’s 5 key trench safety training takeaways are:
- Ensure safe entry and exit
- Trenches must have cave-in protection
- Keep materials away from the edge of the trench
- Look for standing water or other hazards
- Never enter a trench unless it has been inspected
The OSHA trench safety training video is a supplement to existing posted general trenching excavation rules. OSHA’s General Trenching and Excavation Rules are:
- Keep heavy equipment away from trench edges.
- Inspect trenches at the start of each shift.
- Inspect trenches following a rainstorm.
- Keep surcharge loads at least 2 feet (0.6 meters) from trench edges.
- Know where underground utilities are located.
- Do not work under raised loads.
- Test for low oxygen, hazardous fumes and toxic gases.
At SCT, we’re experts in trenching and excavation safety, boasting some of the most experienced trench safety training professionals in the nation. Please contact us for any questions you have regarding excavation and trenching safety training and best practices.