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Updated OSHA Trenching & Excavation Safety Guide

Friday, October 23, 2015

OSHA has updated its trenching and excavation safety guidance document.  The update includes a section on the employer bidding process.

"Before preparing a bid, employers should know as much as possible about the jobsite and the materials they will need to have on hand to perform the work safely and in compliance with OSHA standards. A safety checklist may prove helpful when employers are considering new projects. Factors to consider may include:

  • Traffic
  • Proximity and physical condition of nearby structures
  • Soil classification
  • Surface and ground water
  • Location of the water table
  • Overhead and underground utilities
  • Weather
  • Quantity of shoring or protective systems that may be required
  • Fall protection needs
  • Number of ladders that may be needed
  • Other equipment needs.

Employers can gather the information they need through jobsite studies, observations, test borings for soil type or conditions, and consultations with local officials and utility companies. This information will help employers determine the amount, kind, and cost of safety equipment they will need to perform the work safely." (OSHA)

Excavation and trenching are among the most hazardous construction operations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Excavation standards, 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1926, Subpart P, contain requirements for excavation and trenching operations. This booklet highlights key elements of the standards and describes safe work practices that can protect workers from cave-ins and other hazards.

 

View the Document.

 

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