Over the summer, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a national news release regarding a troubling rise in worker deaths related to trenching and excavation work. In the first half of the current year, 22 workers have succumbed to injuries sustained while performing work inside trenches and excavations. As a result of these recent fatalities, OSHA has launched enhanced enforcement initiatives specifically for trenching and excavation activities.
OSHA’s recent enhanced enforcement initiative, combined with its ongoing National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation, launched in 2018, will have compliance officers perform more than 1,000 trench inspections nationwide and further emphasize penalties assessed for trenching- and excavation-related incidents. This additional emphasis on how penalties are evaluated may lead to an uptick in criminal referrals for state or federal prosecution to send the message that OSHA will hold employers accountable for putting their workers’ lives at risk.
EHS Support Health & Safety Specialist Will England has supervised dozens of excavation and trenching operations, from environmental remediation projects to large-scale construction foundation excavations. His experience includes site characterization, assisting development of remediation plans, collaborating with clients and management to develop remediation strategies, and overseeing remediation activities including large-scale soil excavation and environmental drilling, risk management and contractor safety, hazardous waste auditing, and data interpretation and report writing.
Will can provide specialized guidance to help you prepare for an OSHA inspection and make sure you’re in compliance with all the regulations. Contact him today for more information.