On Tuesday, a construction worker was buried up to his waist after a trench wall collapsed on top of him at a jobsite in Asheville, NC. Rescue workers dug for several hours before the individual was freed and taken to a local hospital. His story had a happier ending than many involved in cave-ins at construction sites.
Based on the most recent government statistics available, from 2013-2017 ninety-seven construction workers died in trench collapses. That’s an average of nineteen deaths each year. As a result, OSHA has made trench safety a priority, urging construction contractors to follow these three steps to ensure worker safety.
- SLOPE or bench trench walls
- SHORE trench walls with supports, or
- SHIELD trench walls with trench boxes
In addition to these general safety guidelines OSHA’s dedicated Trenching and Excavation web page containing resources like trenching safety bulletin, trench safety OSHA alert, and a trenching safety poster.
If you’re interested in learning more about actions you can take to protect your workers while they’re on the job and ensure compliance with OSHA’s trenching safety free to give us a call at 864.905.7835.