OSHA Updates Guide on Trenching, Excavation Safety in Construction
OSHA has published an updated version of its guide Trenching and Excavation Safety, which describes “key elements” of the agency’s applicable standards and the associated requirements for excavation and trenching operations. The guide covers safe work practices intended to help protect workers from cave-ins, hazardous atmospheres, falling loads, and other potential hazards of trenching work. A new section discusses safety factors that employers should consider when bidding on jobs, and expanded sections cover maintenance of materials and equipment used for worker protection systems and additional hazards associated with excavations not included in the previous version. Other topics discussed in the guide include the role of a competent person; the requirements for safely installing and removing protective systems; the effect of water accumulation on excavation safety; and the timing of employer-conducted site inspections. The updated guide is available as a PDF on OSHA’s website.