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Staying Safe in the Trenches

The private construction industry accounted for 80 percent of all fatalities that occurred during the most recent timeframe for which data is available (2011 through 2016). Within the construction industry, 38 percent of those fatalities were at industrial locations, 30 percent were at residential locations, and 20 percent were at street/highway sites. OSHA has recently responded to the rise in deaths by launching a National Emphasis Program on Trench and Excavation in October 2018. The purpose of this program is to increase awareness of safe practices and to step-up enforcement. Construction companies need to take the safety regulations around trench work seriously if they want to ensure their job sites are not liabilities and that their workers don’t become statistics. This article will address the legal requirements involving trench work as well as answer some of the most frequently asked questions about trench safety. (Source: Occupational, Health and Safety, 2019).

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