Did You Observe Trench Safety Month?

Posted by Allison Symonds on Jun 28, 2021 3:15:42 PM

It’s easy to get complacent in a job. When you do the same tasks day after day—same crew, same truck, same equipment—it’s common to “check out” mentally from time to time.

Don’t check out of trenching safety. 

The National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) has declared June Trench Safety Month. In addition to providing resources and training, they also encourage organizations to participate in the annual Trench Safety Stand Down, when supervisors and workers take a break and focus on excavation safety for the utility and construction industries. This year, tens of thousands of workers at job sites across America participated in safety training, educational seminars, live demonstrations of trench rescues, and other activities.

Safer Worksites, Today

The need for this kind of program is urgent: In 2019 alone, 24 workers died in excavation accidents—up from 17 the year before. That’s 24 lives ended, 24 families broken and 24 work crews ripped apart. If you haven’t had the chance to take stock of your team’s excavation site practices, it’s not too late. Do you regularly inspect after a rainfall? Do you know the appropriate slope angles for different soil types? How do you designate a “competent individual?”

If you and your crew need a refresher, you’re in luck. NUCA and other industry partners have made a range of resources available at no cost.

Trench Safety Resources

NUCA Trench Safety Videos

NUCA Trench Safety Videos

NUCA and United Rentals teamed up to provide a series of webinars about trenching safety. The trainings covered topics like promoting trench safety awareness and OSHA standards. Recordings are available here:

Watch the Videos

Trench Safety Stand Down

Trench Safety Stand Down

NUCA’s webpage for the Trench Safety Stand Down shares handouts, a daily excavation checklist, and other tools. Learn more about the goals of Trench Safety Month, and what you can do to make good safety practices routine. 

Learn More

Toolbox Talk Tips

Toolbox Talk Tips

It may feel awkward to talk to your crew about safety. This article offers practical tips for leading a toolbox talk. Stick to a core point, focus on impact, and your message will stick.

Learn More

OSHA Trenching Construction eTool

OSHA Construction eTool

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has made reducing trenching hazards a priority. OSHA’s website uses clear language to explain how workers can prevent cave-ins, and when they are at highest risk. Links lead to posters and handouts.

Learn More

Trenching Excavation Safety Poster

Free Trench Safety Poster

Envirosight, PRT’s sister company, produces safety resources on a range of topics, including trenching and excavation. This free poster explains sloping and shoring requirements, daily best practices, and more. It’s perfect for hanging in a truck, where workers can easily reference it.

Request Now


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