OSHA Launches Program to Combat Trenching Accidents

OSHA Launches Program to Combat Trenching Accidents

Tom Ichniowski | Engineering News-Record

In the wake of a recent rise in fatal trenching cave-ins, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has begun a targeted education and enforcement program to try to reverse the trend.

The program, which began on Oct. 1, is an update of its 1985 National Emphasis Program on trenching safety and responds to what the agency calls “a recent spike” in such accidents.

Loren Sweatt, deputy assistant labor secretary for occupational safety and health, said in an Oct. 2 statement, “OSHA will concentrate the full force of enforcement and compliance assistance resources to help ensure that employers are addressing these serious hazards.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of construction trenching cave-in deaths jumped to 33 in 2016, from 18 in 2015 and 10 in 2014…(Read the full story)

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