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  • Trenching and Excavating Safety

    Do you feel like the whole world is falling down on you?

    If the answer is yes, then you might want to visit a psychologist. If you still feel that way and you’re working for a company that provides trenching and excavating, then you might want to take a look at where you are standing, or what you’re standing in. If you are in an unsupported trench with loose gravel or soil 5 feet or deeper, consider looking for the fastest way out. I heard once that the only difference between a rut and a grave is about 3 feet. So if there is no safe means of exit your company is in serious violation of OSHA standards 29 CFR 1926.650 - 653 for “trenching and excavating”, and you are in danger of turning that rut into a grave.

    Safety training and compliance in this topic is vitally important. The health and well-being of not just your employee, but also the financial health and reputation of your company will be at risk. OSHA will fine you if you are in violation and the results will be published. This has recently been the experience of an Underground company in the Chicago Area as seen in the OSHA Regional News release dated September 3rd. It would seem that this company is no stranger to OSHA violations and this violation is recurring, and will cost them $76,340 for exposing workers to trench cave-ins.trenching and excavation

    There are several considerations when planning a project that includes excavation. Make sure you have a qualified competent person and do a site survey and inspection prior to and during the project. This will also include any moving traffic barriers and or flaggers with the appropriate HI-vis garments or PPE. He’ll need to know the type of soil or substrate being excavated, any hazards including electrical energy under the ground or overhead, and more.

    This blog only scratches the surface of what is necessary for the complete safety of your employees during such a project. As a safety advocate we will continue to call your attention to some of these issues. In this cause we sincerely hope that a rut will not turn into a grave.

    Interested in a complete learning management system for the safety of your employees? Sign up for a walkthrough of our LMS and we’ll show you how your employees can get the best learner experience at a price you can afford!

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