National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA), North American Excavation Shoring Association (NAXSA) and the US Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA) are once again sponsoring a Trench Safety Stand Down (TSSD). This year’s event will be held June 18-23. During the safety stand down, employers will talk directly to employees about trench and excavation hazards, as well as reemphasize the importance of using trench protective systems and protecting workers from trenching hazards, using proper PPE and above ground monitors.
A recent article in Construction Dive, highlighted the sharp increase in trench and excavation fatalities in 2016 (most recent year data was available), which were nearly twice the average of the previous five years combined. To address this increase, The Department of Labor has developed a comprehensive action plan and set a goal to abate trenching and excavation hazards by 10%, compared to fiscal year 2017, through inspections and compliance assistance programs. OSHA is also issuing citations and doling out large fines to employers who expose workers to dangerous conditions.
According to NUCA’s website, the 2017 TSSD was an amazing success, reaching more than five times the workers than the first TSSD in 2016. Contractors held stand downs at more than 800 jobsites and reached more than 10,000 workers across the U.S. and abroad. The event sponsor’s goal is to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries that occur each year.
This event is open to any company, with special emphasis on utility construction, residential building, highway construction, plumbing, and the military. Sponsors also want unions, trade associations, educational institutions, and safety equipment manufacturers to participate and promote the 2018 TSSD. For more information on the 2018 TSSD please visit http://www.nuca.com/tssd.
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