NSC Construction and Utilities Division news Contractors Hazard communication Construction Construction

Trenching and excavation deaths rose 160% in 2022: CPWR

Photo: Ron Chilton, National Trench Safety and North American Excavation Shoring Association

Silver Spring, MD — Thirty-nine workers died while performing trench/excavation work in 2022, up from 15 in 2021, according to a new report from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training.

Based on data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries and the Survey of Occupational Information and Illnesses, the report examines fatal and nonfatal trenching injuries, as well as OSHA citations and penalties for violation of the federal trenching standard (1926 Subpart P).

Findings include:

  • Construction workers accounted for 85% of fatal trenching injuries from 2011 to 2021 and 90% of nonfatal injuries from 2011 to 2022.
  • Hispanic workers made up more than a third of the trenching/excavation deaths in 2022.
  • Trenching violations comprised 9% of penalties and 4% of citations in construction in 2023.
  • From 2011 to 2023, 52% of citations for trenching violations were issued to employers in heavy and civil engineering construction.

The ninth annual Trench Safety Stand Down will take place June 17-23. The event is focused on protecting workers from trenching and excavation hazards.

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)