NUCA Trench Safety Stand Down June 15 – 19, 2020

OSHA has made reducing trenching and excavation hazards the Agency’s Priority Goal. Trench collapses, or cave-ins, pose the greatest risk to workers’ lives. To prevent cave-ins:

  • SLOPE or bench trench walls
  • SHORE trench walls with supports, or
  • SHIELD trench walls with trench boxes

Employers should also ensure there is a safe way to enter and exit the trench. Keep materials away from the edge of the trench. Look for standing water or atmospheric hazards. Never enter a trench unless it has been properly inspected.

29 CFR 1926.65029 CFR 1926.651, and 29 CFR 1926.652 are applicable OSHA standards.

For OSHA training in Trenching, Excavation, & Soil Mechanics, see the list of OTI Education Center Region 1  OSHA #3015 course. (in-seat or ONLINE courses).

Here are resources for Trenching Safety:

5 Things to Know to Be Safe (PDF)

Trenching Safety Poster PDF in English or Spanish

Keep Trenches Safe For Workers (PDF)

CPWR Trenches Fact Sheet

Trenching Safety Tips Card in English or Spanish

OSHA’s Trenching & Excavation Booklet (PDF)