OSEA Safety Blog

National Emphasis Program for Trenching and Excavations- OSHA

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 John Coniglio

Trenches and excavations are dangerous places and can potentially be deadly places. All too often, workers within unprotected trenches/excavations suffer the injuries or death when cave in occurs. Knowing the safe way to protect an excavation is critical to the process of safety, and involves having competent persons on site who understand the hazards and protective methods which must be put into place. Knowing the type of soil, shoring bracing & sloping requirements, safe entry and exit means are just part of the safety considerations that must be in place. See 29 CFR 1926.650, .651 & .652.

This is serious business and as such OSHA has initiated a National Emphasis Program. The directive states, ”Whenever they (Compliance Safety & Health Officer) observe an open trench/excavation regardless of whether or not a violation is readily observed”, an inspection will be initiated.

Know the standard, understand the safe way to perform the work and keep your workers safe.

For more information on this topic, follow this link: https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/enforcement/directives/CPL-02-00-161_0.pdf

Work Safe. Work Smart. Work with OSEA. Start Now