OSHA has announced that it has updated the National Emphasis Program (NEP) on preventing trenching and excavation collapses in response to a recent spike in trenching fatalities. The updated NEP is designed to increase education and enforcement efforts.
The program began on October 1, 2018, with a three-month period of education and prevention outreach. During this period, OSHA will continue to respond to complaints, referrals, hospitalizations and fatalities. OSHA-approved State Plans are expected to have enforcement procedures that are at least as effective as those in this NEP.
OSHA has a number of compliance assistance materials to help, including:
- Trench Collapses Can Be Deadly. OSHA Alert (Publication 3971), (2022).
- A 45-second video, “5 Things You Should Know to Stay Safe,” which also highlights well-known and proven safety measures that can eliminate hazards and prevent worker injuries.
- Working Safely in Trenches. OSHA QuickCard™ (Publication 3243), (2018). Also available in Español.
Visit OSHA’s Trenching and Excavation webpage for more information and resources.