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PROPERTY & CASUALTY
JUN 16, 2017
Trench Safety Stand Down Week
Always with an eye to keep worksites safe, the National Utility Contractor’s Association (NUCA) – with the full support of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) – recognizes June 19 to 24, 2017 as Trench Safety Stand Down Week. What does this mean? The NUCA is asking all contractors, municipalities, military and others involved with trenching operations to talk directly to employees and others about trench safety and excavation hazards.
The goal of Trench Safety Stand Down Week is to reach as many workers as possible to reduce industry fatalities and serious injuries. According to OSHA, the fatality rate for excavation work is 112% higher than the rate for general construction. OSHA statistics also show that the number of trench injuries and deaths in each of the past five years has more deaths than 2014 and 2015
(23 in 2016 vs 11 each in 2015 and 2014).
Trench Safety Tips
In honor of Trench Safety Stand Down Week, Amerisure wanted to share these trench safety tips from the NUCA:
Locate all underground utilities before digging.
Enter only trenches that have been sloped at the proper angle, shored, or shielded.
Never go outside the area that has been sloped, shored, or shielded, not even for a moment.
Eliminate or control water accumulation before entering the trench.
Stay alert when working in or near previously disturbed soil conditions.
Do not permit vehicles near the edge of the trench.
Check regularly for hazardous materials and oxygen levels in the trench.
Never allow machines to run unattended.
Use a ladder or ramp to get in and out of the trench. Place the ladder inside the protective system.
Never climb on shoring or shields. Never ride in equipment buckets or on crane hooks.
Wear hard hats when working in or around trenches.
Stay out from under raised loads
Finally, keep in mind that about half of the workers killed in trenches die trying to rescue someone else who’s been buried in a cave-in. Don’t attempt a rescue yourself, call 911 instead.
Click here to learn more about NUCA’s Trench Safety Stand Down Week