Stay Safe in the Trenches

backhoe digging a trenchAs the level of commercial and residential construction activity continues to rise, so has the number of work-related injuries: Excavation and trench-related fatalities in 2016 were almost double the average of the previous five years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

NAHB has long been in the business of providing resources to keep members, their employees and subs safe on the jobsite, and the Trenching and Excavating Toolkit is just one example.

Soil cave-ins pose the greatest risk, but there are other potential hazards that builders need to watch for, including falling into the trench, hazardous gasses, and being struck by the trenching equipment or the loads of dirt being removed.

You can use the resources in this toolkit, along with additional materials from the National Utility Contractors Association, to participate in the Trench Safety Stand Down June 18-23.

Participating builders conduct a Trench Safety Stand Down by taking a break to have a toolbox talk or another safety activity to draw attention to the specific hazards related to working in and around trenches and excavations.

Safety stand-downs are an important part of the NAHB #safety365 campaign, conducted with the assistance of Builders Mutual Insurance Co. For additional information, contact Rob Matuga.

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