New guidance materials offer trench safety tips

Washington – OSHA on Oct. 3 released three guidance documents on the hazards of trenching operations.

The “Trenching and Excavation Safety” fact sheet (.pdf file) covers trenching hazards and safety measures, while the “Working Safely in Trenches” QuickCard (.pdf file) outlines different types of protective systems in trenches and includes graphics.

Employers can post the An Unprotected Trench is an Early Grave (.pdf file) poster in their workplace to inform workers of steps to take to ensure trench safety, such as shoring and sloping and evaluation by a competent person.

Since 2003, more than 200 workers have died in trench cave-ins, according to OSHA.

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