IMWCA members are directly or indirectly exposed to excavation danger on a regular basis. Many municipalities perform water, sewer and other excavation activities that involve open trenches. Even when the member hires a contractor to dig, a municipal employee often ends up entering the trench to perform work. Add to that the hundreds of fire and EMS departments that are called upon to render aid when the unthinkable happens and someone is buried in a trench collapse.
OSHA has created a set of rules and regulations that, when followed, will eliminate almost any situation where a trench collapse can result in a fatality which are linked below. The problem is, people are either unaware of the rules, are unaware of the dangers inherent in a trench, or they just choose to ignore them and take short cuts.
This guide will provide information on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) general safety requirements for excavation work as published in 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1926 Subpart P. This can be used as a basic training tool.